Guesses are not knowledge, they’re bets

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

Have you noticed that civilization has gone uncivilized? The reason for it is fairly simple. Social media have taught us that we can feel good if someone likes our opinion.

There are scientific concepts and words that can be used to explain how the brain generates chemicals as effective as cocaine or beer at giving us an enjoyable buzz. We want more of the stuff. We get hooked on it. And become addicted to spouting off and getting high on the results.

But for our purposes, we only need understand that opinions are not knowledge, they are guesses. And when we guess, we are placing a bet that we are right every time we defend our guess rather than verify it.

  • De-worming medicine can protect against covid.
  • Face shields can stop the spread of covid.
  • Vaccines are dangerous.

These are guesses because there is no science supporting those conclusions. In fact, de-worming medicine can harm our health and face shield temperature and air flow dynamics can suck the virus to our face. Vaccines save lives, not put them at risk.

Joe Biden botched the Afghanistan exit we are told, without anyone coming up with an “unbotched” scenario that is realistic. And never mind that over 117,000 souls have been given a fresh and safer start.

Opinions are guesses. We should properly assign them the tag “irrelevant”, or some degree of probability from 0.1% to 99.9%. Because they are not knowledge until they are certain.

If we take decisions based on bets, we are gamblers, not rational people.

Rational people can find a path to civility.

Irrational people can only luck out now and then.

If we watch the US, we can see lack of knowledge – conspiracy theories, for instance – forming as hard opinions that are defended with fists and guns. Uncivilized at best. Insane at worst.

Science is the way. Knowledge not guesswork. Low risk, not high risk.

  • We should learn to get high on certainty rather than guesses.
  • We should re-learn the arts of listening and respecting.
  • We should re-learn humility, a quality of character that we used to prize before we learned that being a jerk is fun.

I’ve found a new way to argue myself, as I clearly have a problem in this arena. Rather than debating a challenge, I’ve taken to posting source articles from reputable outlets. That takes my opinion out of the confrontation and either ends the debate or moves it toward specific events that are nearer to knowledge than my opinion.

Come to think about it, we would do well to get high on building something, rather than argument.

That would be different, eh?

279 Responses to “Guesses are not knowledge, they’re bets”
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Spot on as usual, Joe. Oops, an opinion.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    I guess you are absolutely correct.
    now where is that link to support my claim.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        there you go

          • NHerrera says:

            Joe, I find that link very useful. Our readers and contributors other than Dr. LCX may find it useful too. If OK with you I am reproducing the 8 tips provided by

            Chris Hladczuk @chrishlad

            If you use it right, Google is the most powerful tool in the world.

            But the truth is most people suck at it.

            Here are 8 Googling tips that you probably don’t know

            Item 1 “Quotation markets”

            Put quotes around search terms to let you search exactly for that word.

            All results will have your terms in it.

            Example: “James Clear”

            Gives you all James Clear search results without just “James” or just “Clear”.

            Item 2 – Dashes

            If you want to exclude a term from your search, include a hyphen before that word.

            Example: dolphins-football

            You just want dolphins the animal not dolphins the professional football team.

            Item 3 ~ Tilde

            Use tilde when you want synonyms to appear in the result.

            Example: music ~classes

            Here you only get music classes, lessons, coaching, etc.

            Item 4 Site:

            Use this to search within a specific website only.

            Example: Kevin Ryan

            This searches for Kevin Ryan mentions on my website (chrishlad dot com).

            Item 5 | Vertical bar

            Same purpose as OR.

            Example: Netflix | Hulu

            Netflix OR Hulu

            Item 6 .. Two Periods

            Use two periods to search within 2 number ranges.

            Example: movies 1980..2000

            Item 7 Location:

            Find news related to a particular location.

            Example: Elon Musk location:sanfrancisco

            Item 8 Filetype:

            Filter by a certain file type related to your search.

            Example: warren buffet filetype:pdf

            This filters out all the click bait news Buffet news article you don’t want to read.

    • LCPL_X says:

      So w/out all that fancy twitter recommendation, I’d simply ask Google: Does UBI cause sloth? (and a list of articles would show, then I’ll look for the most academic sounding one, and if that links me to an actual paper from a famous school or think tank preferrably famous one, then I’d read that first; if nothing then I’ll read all the pros and cons… but in the end , I’ll be guided by this gut feeling, that in fact if you give people extra cash they’ll seek to increase it, by lending it; by giving it away like paying it forward karma strategy, or go into Robinhood and ride the ups and downs, whatever, but they’ll seek to increase themselves and not the opposite,

      thus sloth is the wrong premise– because it doesnt go w/ my knowledge of how humans work. <<< FYI this is where i’m always at, hunch or gut feeling. thus the secret sauce to a PhD in Google. 😉

      Then for AI and machine learning, and robots taking everyones jobs, well that ‘ll be easy as we’ve already covered that subject here a bunch of times.

      Then we’ll go forward, proceed and attempt to prognosticate what a world will look like if everyone gets $1,000 dollars a month, or maybe P5,000 pesos for over there. This is the fun part, because then we bring in science and philosophy, and then personal anecdotes, etc. etc.

  3. NHerrera says:

    I’ve found a new way to argue myself, as I clearly have a problem in this arena. Rather than debating a challenge, I’ve taken to posting source articles from reputable outlets. That takes my opinion out of the confrontation and either ends the debate or moves it toward specific events that are nearer to knowledge than my opinion.

    Good suggestion, Joe.

    For those who want to just guess rather than find the time to analyze and/ or seek knowledge to support one’s opinion or an opinion by others copied and mouthed-pasted, I will throw a pair of two dice. If the total face-up values of the two dice is either a 7 or 11, I mouth or paste the opinion, otherwise I pass. 🙂

    [The probability of getting the total of a throw of two dice to be either 7 or 11 is 2/9 or 22.2%.]

  4. kasambahay says:

    as long as cats miaouw and dogs bark, kaming mga bisaya will always be opinionated. bane of our budhi yan. people dont need to pay attention to us braying bisaya, else they shoot at us, red tag us, or ignore us completely. even our 1st miss universe gloria diaz uttered the immortal words, ‘I guess’ . . . . in her winning speech before bagging the crown, I suppose guessing will always be better than roaching, haha.

    as my drinking buddies once said, it’s hard to trust a person who cannot voice an opinion without quoting somebody.

  5. Well, I guess the feeling of being right we get when we have many likes is bandwagon, except that Facebook and others allow many little bandwagons to circle.

  6. NHerrera says:

    This article from Washington Post by opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin seems to present, I believe, the main sentiment of the current and immediately previous TSH’s blog topics. It seems, to me at least, rather balanced or if tilted, it is one that makes sense to me.

    The article is titled: “Biden tells some hard truths few want to hear.”

    Concluding remark:

    We need some sober reflection on the folly of overeager interventionism. We need to come to terms with the delusional feedback loop between civilian and military leaders. Instead we have a media and political culture that are not serious or attentive enough to grasp that dilemmas 20 years in the making have no good answer, just less terrible ones. Everything is reduced to a partisan question. (Is Biden in crisis? Is this a boost for Republicans?) The media, it seems, does not know how to cover a tragedy without viewing it through the lens of horse-race politics. It is so much easier to pronounce the exit a “disaster” than to consider if one’s advocacy over 20 years contributed to the groupthink that sent young men and women to die. Confronted with 13 dead Americans, the press is eager to demonstrate Biden missed the obvious, safe course. What that is, they do not explain.

    • LCPL_X says:

      So, the main criticism isn’t really whether or not to draw down, Trump guaranteed the withdrawal, Biden agreed but just moved the date forward.

      The criticisms seem to center around letting go of Bagram. but if you look at the decision, it was either Embassy/HKIA airport OR Bagram.

      They could have considered Embassy and Bagram, and dropped HKIA to the Afghan gov’t and private airlines. But that would mean vacating the Embassy early and move it to Bagram, which is 30 miles or so away.

      if shit hits fan (as it did) civilian and military planes can be accommodated in Bagram.

      Embassy moved to Bagram is the most logical, as its away from the city center thus easier to secure. But Diplomats, who like the their maids and who like their symbols of American power, you can already expect that that scenario wasn’t gonna happen. At all.

      So you get the current HKIA and Embassy tandem, but Embassy was evacuated first, now you have this whole Embassy at HKIA situation, which is really untenable. More difficult to hold, means fast track the escape already.

      But for sure that Embassy at Bagram scenario was best. Oh well…

      • JoeAm says:

        As President Biden explained, the military said Kabul was the best place to defend, so he agreed. The insane second-guessing is pure nonsense, as if Bagram would have assured no casualties. It was an American decision, the airlift was an incredible accomplishment, what’s to discuss, unless the goal is to pretend some unprovable moral or operational authority where each critic has the bearing of God and Joe Biden is a horseshit American, capitalism sucks, and I’ll shoot you if you have a different opinion. Just stop it. It’s nonsense and it doesn’t build anything.

          • kasambahay says:

            best thing to do: destroy sensitive stuff or talibs will have them.

            afghans are so like filipinos, lol! we have ghost employees in city halls, their pay goes to konsehales. whereas in afghanistan; apparently, the 300 thousand strong afghan army exists only in paper: ghost army. the real afghan army probly counts near 90 thousand only. afghan generals pocketed the pay of ghost army. and naturally, when talibs came, the afghan army folded.

        • JoeAm says:

          Also, it looks like a second drone strike took out suicide bombers on the way to the airport.

          ps, I’ve added al jazeera to my reading list and dropped NYT and CNN.

          • chemrock says:

            I’m glad CNN has dropped a few notches in your esteem. You might want to consider same for MSNBC. Why, you might ask?

            Rachel Maddox, the anchor and loudest voice of MSNBC once discussed a Daily Beast segment on OAN (One American News) and commented “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

            OAN sued. The Obama-appointed Liberal Judge Bashant of course will not let OAN win, so he had to come up with a good reason for absolving Maddox. Here’s what he said:

            “For her to exaggerate the facts and call OAN Russian propaganda was consistent with her tone up to that point, and the Court finds a reasonable viewer would not take the statement as factual given this context. The context of Maddow’s statement shows reasonable viewers would consider the contested statement to be her opinion.”

            In their appeal, which OAN lost again, Judge Milan D. Smith said “No reasonable viewer could conclude that Maddow implied an assertion of objective fact.”

            So Maddox won her case, but lost her credibility.
            So if anyone who tunes in her show and believes in what she says, are’nt reasonable viewer. That’s not my opinion, but the Judges’.

            • JoeAm says:

              The New York Times also fell off my read list. I don’t follow MSNBC. My Republican brother likes Maddox. He despises Trump. Haha.

              The liberal view of the media situation is that media are reporting the anti-science, pro-Trump agenda as equal and principled to the Biden agenda, when it is clearly morally deficient (based on lies, character assassination, anti-science, etc.) Media ownership is also corporate yada yada yada. I’m sympathetic to that liberal view.

      • JoeAm says:

        Here’s a brief counter-view on Bagram.

        • JoeAm says:

          You have to poke on the tweet “Bagram talking point is stupid . . . ” to get to the conversation on Bagram.

          • LCPL_X says:

            “Biden missed the obvious, safe course. What that is, they do not explain.”

            That’s the wrong conclusion by Jennifer Rubin. That’s all I’m responding to really.

            Obviously, there was a process of deliberation, Joe.

            And the Embassy’s say on the whole matter, I suspect had a lot of weight. No military folk, would choose a civilian airport when theres a military one available.

            As to being out of the way, and people can’t get to it; that’s exactly my point, with more people able to get to it, you’ll have mobs at the gate, instead of cars lined up.

            Less accessible is better. The crux of that twitter discussion is that they want more people out, my point is less is better. Inaccessible is good.

            But I digress, I’m simply addressing Jennifer Rubin’s “they do not explain”.

            I’d love to see a report after all this as to the decisions made and who fought for what plans. and why.

            IMHO, had they known that Kabul would fall so quickly and the Embassy vacated thus, I betcha they would’ve opted for Bagram. Good for the history books is all i’m saying here, not necessarily attacking Biden.

            His advisors gave him the wrong scoop. I’m still happy he left, Joe.

            • JoeAm says:

              Well, my point is that we live in a speculative world where guesses are used as a substitute for knowledge and “tear down” judgments are made that undermine the fabric of reason. Why sign on to irrational thinking when we can build good faith rather than undermine it, and advocate for knowledge rather than conspiracy theory. We should try to build rather than tear down. The generals had the best data set of knowledge available at the time, and they made a decision. Who are we to throw dirt at them?

              • LCPL_X says:

                This is building, Joe. The deliberation is useful for when similar events happen in the future. As lessons learned.

                Obviously, I’m of the opinion that Bagram would’ve been better; but how that decision was made, for example were there folks that anticipated all this and said Hey let’s make Bagram our Alamo.

                Or instead were all advisors just yes men and one dude said Kabul airport is the best option and everyone just said Yes. I hope not, I wanna know the process of deliberation, instead of just giving them the benefit of the doubt.

                The whole of 20 years has been one big mess, Joe, we can critique them surely at the tail end of this mess. And the Bagram and Kabul airport criticism is such an easy critique to do, all you need really is Google maps.

                Here’s a good video,

              • JoeAm says:

                You keep throwing dirt, undermining a decision that has been made, adding to the piles of shit flying around on social media, undermining the President of the United States, casting doubt on the military, undermining the credentials of the United States on international engagements . . . and why? . . . on the off chance that some other circumstance will occur that the Kabul/Bagram decision will be instructive. It’s crazy. It’s dirrrrrty thinking. It’s intellectual global warming where we keep pumping shit into conversations and think brilliance will emerge. It’s not emerging. Look around. Journalism is dead. The fourth estate has crumbled. Social media are masses of moral morons pretending the intellectual wit of Jose Rizal (happy Heroes Day) but just churning out anger and crap. You’re not building anything, really. Your just stirring the chamber pot and calling it beef stew.

              • LCPL_X says:


                I shared that video above, because this whole Kabul airport vs. Bagram airbase critique is hinged on the whole notion of will the Afghan military and gov’t stay. And this is the experience of American military and contractors for the 20 years we’ve been there, the moment we leave everything crumbles.

                Google “Afghan Air Force Maintenance“, and you’ll see a list of articles on how the Afghans just cannot perform basic maintenance.

                The question is why was there even intel or some expectation that the Afghan gov’t and its military would stay for 6-9 months, when the whole time we were there the military and civilian contractors have all shared their experiences on how difficult it is to teach the very basics, such as preventive maintenance to the regular Afghan.

                The conclusion has to be that any report suggesting 6-9 months is either wishful thinking or not really based on reality.

                Thus the only consideration should just have been Bagram as Alamo. Imagine completely vacating Kabul airport now, it’ll be like World War Z.

              • JoeAm says:

                Sorry. It’s irrelevant nonsense. If you wish to play in the chamber pot, feel free. I’m not joining you there. I’m for the military who got 120,000 or more out. I’m for the people with the courage to make tough decisions, and for the people executing them in a high risk region. I’m for Joe Biden who welcomed 13 coffins to the US, a man who carries grief with him every day, shoulders up, then went off to FEMA to get briefed on a storm. Meanwhile Republicans are on an anti-science campaign because facts destroy their narrative and they are rationalizing the deaths they’ve caused by saying heaven is a nice place to stay.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “Even though the Defense Department has spent more than $8.5 billion since 2010 to develop an independent Afghan Air Force, the Afghans rely heavily on civilian contractors to perform most of their aircraft maintenance, according to a recent report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

                “Contractors provide 100% of the maintenance of Afghan Air Force Black Hawks and C-130s and a significant share of maintenance of its light combat support aircraft,” said John F. Sopko, the consistently blunt Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. “DOD’s Train, Advise, and Assist Command – Air (TAAC-Air) reports that no Afghan airframe can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months without contractor support. So this is a critical need.”

                But Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters in May that American contractors are leaving Afghanistan by September along with U.S. troops.

                With the U.S. withdrawal roughly three months away, defense officials are still coming up with a plan for how contractors could continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday.”


                That specific 100% , also applies generally to the rest of our work in Afghanistan. Thus NH’s dice throw analogy above is spot on.

                The assessment of 6-9 months has to be seriously questioned. Because if everything in Afghanistan was being propped up, how do you justify that 6-9 months, Joe.

                Unless it was a loaded dice.

                Consider that 100%, Joe. Its relevant.

              • JoeAm says:

                Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

              • NHerrera says:

                Enjoyed the tête-à-tête. Butting in.

                Lance, your trying to out-einstein Einstein (oops, I hope E continues to RIP with my comment) may be ok, unfortunately, methinks there is no controlled scientific way to prove a Bagram against Kabul decision is the better one. Also, defining what is the “better one” is the kind of sh*t the huffing-puffing social media would love to do. 🙂

                Joe, mind that BP. 🙂

              • LCPL_X says:

                Hahaha… Agreed, NH, its unknowable. Once you’ve taken one path, you cannot go back and try the other.

              • NHerrera says:

                Richard Serra makes sense to me.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Whether Bagram was the easiest; or Kabul the toughest, remains to be seen. less than 48 hours, if we get out with just 13 casualties , then Biden can be proud. No Beirut for him.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’m struck by US intelligence. They knew the first bomber was coming but not when or where. The next day or so they killed the planner with a drone. Then they announced that a second bomber was coming and (it appears) got him heading to the airport, also by drone. They must have had cell phones tapped or agents on the ground. Y’all can second-guess the warriors. I’m impressed. The media can claim Biden botched the ending. I’m proud of what he accomplished, and his having the steel-cold courage to do it amidst a pack of rabid critics on the way to the toilet to wash their faces.

                Addendum: US anti-missile defenses shot down 5 rockets aimed at the airport.

              • JoeAm says:

                By the way, we are approaching the issue from different perspectives. You are judging the tactics. I’m judging the judges, the social media and mass media environment that creates so many self-proclaimed experts pretending to know more than the people with the data. Free speech has become destructive. I’m of the mindset of the California mayor who told his citizens to mask up, not with an ordinance, but with the understanding it is what keeps everyone safe, and we should want to do that. We should want to stop peddling nonsense and conspiracy theories, and anti-science stupidity, because it’s destructive.

              • JoeAm says:

                @LCX, The US official who ordered a drone hit on a suicide bomber heading to to the Kabul airport, a strike that killed up to 9 civilians because the car was full of explosives, had some math to run. What would your calculation have been? Shoot or let the bomber pass?

              • NHerrera says:

                “…a pack of rabid critics on the way to the toilet to wash their faces.”

                Methinks you forget the word “bowl” as in toilet bowl. I may be making light of the conversation, but I believe most of those critics do “wash their faces in the toilet bowl.” More so with those anti-vaxxers anti-vaccine critics, I may add.

              • JoeAm says:

                Relentless destruction of sense and civility.

            • isk says:

              If the intel groups had identified important ISIS-K leaders arranging to kill Americans, why didn’t they take out the “planner” and his sidekick before it happened?

              • JoeAm says:

                @isk, The question unfortunately implies bad judgment or operations. We don’t know how information is obtained and to hypothesize perfect knowledge is unreasonable. It also suggests American troops were complicit in allowing the bombing to occur when in all likelihood they were doing everything within their power to stop it. The suggestion that people are operating in bad faith is horrible. I’ve been in the killing fields. It’s not so simple. I wish all this judgmentalness would go away to be replaced by good faith and appreciation. It’s dangerous work these young men and women are doing. You’re not doing it. I’m not. They’re the heroes. We’re the schmucks.

              • isk says:

                ” It also suggests American troops were complicit in allowing the bombing to occur ”
                Sir Joe, the query posted is more on to the policy/decision makers, something to ponder, not the military. I have great respect to those who are/were in the service.

                Am just tip toeing in here, along the line of opinion = guess work

              • JoeAm says:

                The policy maker is President Biden. The generals make the heavier decisions as recommendations, like to focus on one airport, to attack with drones, etc. Biden seems to follow their advice. The overriding Policy decision is to get out by Aug 31. That’s on Biden alone. The tactics are all the things necessary to do that, with US military running things. We don’t know who makes drone “fire” decisions. Obama made some. Israel involves higher ups. That decision authority may have been a factor in the case of the first bomber. It was undoubtedly easier to say ‘fire’ after the suicide bomb exploded. I don’t like all the second-guessing, that of LCX as an example. It helps no one if done in the public arena. It undermines good faith. It helps the enemy.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Consider also why the strike had to be done at that particular spot?

                Was the vehicle already in transit and they had to scramble the drone with missiles?

                Was the intel last minute? and they had to kill right then and there. while the vehicle was enroute.

                Why not while the vehicle was being loaded? or parked. why the too much like Hollywood scenario?

              • isk says:

                @ Sir Lance and Sir Joe.
                It’s like a “smorgasburg” of informations in here, more than I can chew! So much to learn.
                Thanks a lot! Still browsing all those links given.

                The battalion commander who resigned from his post amazes me. He’s quite impressive marine… he gave it up, wasted all the way.

              • LCPL_X says:

       that’s a good back grounder on drone strikes we debated awhile back, isk.

                Also, consider the evidence. How do we know that some dude who’s just gotten cuckold, or been, wasn’t the one who called it in, to get the US to kill his beloved wife’s lover? a lot of instances where this happened, well maybe not cuckold, but blood feuds in the mountains. in which US drones were used.

                You can get away with a lot things during chaos. And/or events in which evidence will surely be destroyed.

              • isk says:

                @ Sir Lance on drone strikes (RE: The Islamic Renaissance… 12/2015)
                “We choose proportionality because 1). We hold ourselves to a certain standard and 2). The point of these wars is to win over the population. ”
                Fast forward at present, what we witnessed in Kabul Airport, with that such huge crowd trying to escape, it seems America is winning the Afghans hearts and mind . If that’s the case, did America and NATO allies squandered human lives and resources big time?

              • LCPL_X says:


                I guess one can argue that we’re not winning hearts and minds anymore, but just want out. So its more a World War Z situation really.

                But that’s my point, these Afghans aren’t zombies. If I was walking and minding my own business one day, and some car driving near me exploded, i’d be pissed.

                What am I chopped liver? And Americans’ lives worth more than mine? Before I die I’d probably say something like, Those figgin’ Americans should’ve set up at Bagram,

                atleast they’d have concentric circles to cushion these attempts, as not to feel immediate threats thus drone strikes.

                And then on my way to heaven, I’d float by Kabul airport and notice , Yup no concentric circles of security, how will the last of the US military leave? gotta be after dark when everyones sleeping. Maybe just nuke the whole city.

                Then after I’ll pass by the drone that killed me, and say something like, Oh man that’s the future of warfare? LCPL_X was right all along, up close and personal is so much better.

                After which its 72 virgins time , I hope they have lots of condoms in heaven. Or hell.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “If that’s the case, did America and NATO allies squandered human lives and resources big time?”


                Americans when everythings said and done do alot of good for the world, isk. I don’t doubt that.

                But my arguments have always been about ROI, what’s in for Americans, what do we get out of it?

              • isk says:

                @ Sir Lance.
                Okay, got your point. You’re more on return of investment. Mine is different, the world community has moral obligations to help Afghanistan, a stable government/society . I think it outweighs the risk. That proposal of Mr. Blinken for an intra-Afghan talk in Turkey should have been pursued, that’s the best leverage the US could use. That power sharing scheme. A missed opportunity.- Thank you Sir.

              • LCPL_X says:


                If you have n’t already you gotta watch that video above by Benny Winslow, then after ask if that power sharing situation was doable, given the nature of the conflict on the ground and the culture driving said conflict.

                By the way, I truly welcome your push backs and counter views, and good on you for thinking thru these matters farther. I hope it all applies to the Philippines, or even your personal life, cuz a lot of this

                diplomacy and warfare stuff , intel gathering & analysis, can be applied in how you live your life, lessons learned, etc. from school life, to office politics to dining room debates. All good.

              • kasambahay says:

                joeam, isk’s “if the intel groups had identified important ISIS-K leaders arranging to kill Americans, why didn’t they take out the “planner” and his sidekick before it happened?”

                I put that question to my drinking buddies who I think are in the know and their answer is, why didnt the midwives who delivered the now isis-k leaders killed them at birth? or their mothers could do the honor, rid their neighborhood of would isis-k leaders, kill them in infancy so they could all live in peace and harmony.

                why indeed intel groups did not take out the planner and his sidekick before they can do damage, and before their plan comes to full fruition and before people get killed?

                there must strong evidence, not just hunch or hearsay. intel groups depend on irrefutable evidence, all ducks lining in a row and checklist ticked. by itself, planning to kill americans is not enough for planners to be killed, though planners can be put under surveillance until they crossed the line and hard physical evidence is there and staring at them: the bomb, the ied, the transport ready, the trigger, the drivers etc.

                unlike in our country where evidence is planted, intel groups in america have operational standard to observe and adhere, planting evidence is rarely their forte.

                good that americans have taken out the planners and their deadly wares. there were collaterals, that cannot be helped, albeit minimal. when hit, both the planners and their bomb exploded and in return, civilians near them got hit by the exploding bomb too.

              • JoeAm says:

                We have two separate arguments taking shape in this discussion thread.

                One seeks to overlay events with speculations pointing to bad decisions that suggests bad faith on the part of decision-makers. That’s LCX.

                The other seeks understanding of the situation on the ground to put decisions in a truthful, real context. That’s me.

                The point of the article, which your drinking buddies seem to appreciate, is that there is a lot of untruth infesting peoples’ decisions these days, and it is leading to bad results. We should understand how and why and strive for better thinking.

              • JoeAm says:

                Yale University recently reported on a study that reports on the behavioral changes that come from social media.


                My guess, or bet, is that conspiracy addiction and armchair quarterbacking are likewise driven by emotions. It is empowering “to have a belief different and better than what the scoundrels in charge are peddling.” It’s like religion, almost, where an idea becomes a god and people commit their soul to it. Preachers preach it. Fellow believers raise their arms to the sky over it. Unfortunately, people die as a result.

                I still say science is the way, building and truth are better than capitulation of the mind and emotions to wrong information, and tearing down of everything that matters.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “One seeks to overlay events with speculations pointing to bad decisions that suggests bad faith on the part of decision-makers. That’s LCX.”

                I would say patterned ineptitude since the day the planes hit on 9/11, Joe.

              • JoeAm says:

                Different point. The issue is how best to get away from ineptitude, through guesses and emotions or science and understanding. You are, in my opinion, arguing for ineptitude.

              • LCPL_X says:


                As explained, 10th Man doctrine has to be in place, said 2nd guessing will keep bad decisions in check.

                Inept bureaucrat: Let’s nation build in Antarctica next.

                10th Man: Sir, with all due respect, the penguins will rise against us.

                Inept bureaucrat: That’s right… sorry, my bad.

              • JoeAm says:

                11th man: penguins don’t rise up

                10th man: oh, yeah. Well, icebergs are unstable.

                11th man: let’s develop a trade pact with the nations that own antartica.

                Inept bureaucrat: works for me

                10th man: ice will make forks stick to your forehead

              • LCPL_X says:

                12th man: No one owns Antarctica. And why’s the 10th man with forks on his forehead?

                Inept bureaucrat: Let’s just nation build Australia instead. And that’s a spork, not fork.

            • LCPL_X says:

              @LCX, The US official who ordered a drone hit on a suicide bomber heading to to the Kabul airport, a strike that killed up to 9 civilians because the car was full of explosives, had some math to run. What would your calculation have been? Shoot or let the bomber pass?


              If its gonna kill a bunch of civilians and kids, let them pass.

              • LCPL_X says:

                I don’t like all the second-guessing, that of LCX as an example. It helps no one if done in the public arena.


                If there was a lot of second guessing, we’d have pulled out of Afghanistan by 2003, and decided to approach the killing of Bin Laden via Pakistan, Joe. I’m a big fan of second guessing.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “They must have had cell phones tapped or agents on the ground.”


                No doubt actionable intel are good finds, Joe. But I’d personally like to match the intel gathering of bombers/bombs with those that said Afghanistan was gonna last 6-9 months, obviously there’d be a disconnect.

                The intel that generated the bombs/bombers I’m sure would not have concluded the same 6-9 months life span.

                So I’d be interested in the sourcing (unknowable of course) and the analysis (unknowable) because those are two different sources, one actionable and real; the other wishful thinking.

              • LCPL_X says:


                Now imagine that same drone strike but in and around Bagram area, Joe.

                It all goes back to our drone strikes debate.

                These are all counter factuals, NH is correct. The exercise merely serves to see if things could’ve been better.


                These aren’t designed to hurt people’s feelings, these concepts are designed to constantly strive for better. either in analyses, outcomes, etc.

              • JoeAm says:

                @LCX, Okay. I don’t know what I would have done. It would depend on options for stopping the vehicle or bomber elsewhere, roadway congestion, information I don’t have. But it’s statistical. If there’s a 95% chance the bomber will succeed because he’s near congestion, and from 50 to 200 people are likely to be killed, then I’d take the shot.

                As for speculation, I get your point that its social pressure that can be used for good. But social media and politics are on the slippery slope of decisions made because of passion rather than science. So you value speculation and I say the sum of all of it is leading to a dysfunctional society, a weak America, and a lot of deaths and pain that does not have to be. So the halo of your ‘save the kids’ scenario on the drone becomes deaths of kids from covid because everyone with an opinion is driving people from science to passion, and to just incredible incivility and arrogance,

                Well, we are just old people down at the club, smoking a cigar, getting drunk, and slobbering out our ideas. They don’t affect much, and the drinks are good.

              • LCPL_X says:

                There’s a unit in LAPD called SIS, if you were in the LA area in the 80s you’d have known their exploits. They come from a long line of assassin cops. Since the Wild Wild West here, and still even over there in the Philippines.

                They’re a surveillance unit on paper, but actually their modus is to entrap said violent felons they are hunting and generate elicit a shoot out in their favour thus killing said criminals. Violent and known is the standard.

                Now imagine said shoot outs with a bunch of collateral damage, eventually the tactics isn’t worth the squeeze.

                Then consider the homework done to manufacture said shoot out, time of their choosing, when and where, after a crime, or before, evidence available, etc. etc.

                Now transpose said SIS unit with drone strikes, you get the sense that theres a lot of homework done prior which means there was some sort of control as to when and where it was to happen. Then consider , Hey 13 service members just got killed, are they going for the Hollywood effect here?

                This philosophical either or is an old one, but my point here is drone strikes are more akin to SIS type operations, so there should be more in the means of justifications, than say an ambush or regular serendipitous shootout situations.

              • JoeAm says:

                Reports say the missile was a hellfire R9X used to minimize casualties. It uses blades rather than explosives. So for sure US troops did not want collateral damage. Sometimes people have hard decisions to make. War is hell.


              • LCPL_X says:

                This is new to me, Joe.

                Then I would say examine the blast radius of such a device,

                then the particular location where device was used, out in the desert or in tenements.

                Then examine again your conclusion above: “So for sure US troops did not want collateral damage. “

              • LCPL_X says:

                It’s pretty accurate, Joe.


                and it does look like blast radius (still nothing on Google) is pretty contained as well.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Its not the blast radius at issue then, but the fragments, it seems. Very interesting.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Emran Feroz, an Afghan journalist based in Germany who has investigated the impact of aerial attacks on Afghan civilians for 10 years, says the fact that Sunday’s attack took place in Kabul will help draw media attention to an issue that has plagued Afghan civilians since the US-led invasion in 2001.

      “It’s very symbolic that US operations in Afghanistan started with drone strikes and ended with drone strikes. It seems they’ve learned nothing in 20 years,” he told Al Jazeera.

      Feroz, who published the German-language book Death at the Push of a Button in 2017, says the results of the US drone war can be seen on the streets of Kabul where high-ranking Taliban members, including some who had been reported “killed” multiple times have been roaming the capital since the group took control of the country.

      “But the question no one seems to want to ask is who was killed instead of them?”


      I’m thinking now that this was a case of mistaken identity, Joe.

      But the heads of household are said to be gov’t workers and that they were preparing to depart from Kabul airport for the US. That they got their visas already.

      The pictures are what’s concerning though, compare the AlJazeera pictures with that Bellingcat site’s photo’s of R9X targets, also lots of youtube videos of the remnants of R9X missiles.

      Essentially they are smart guided huge blender blades.

      But you look at the AlJazeera photos of the civilian’s vehicles, it doesn’t match up with the ones seen in Bellingcat. AlJazeera photos look more like regular munitions. Unless of course the shredder missile went thru, but the car itself exploded.

      • JoeAm says:

        Speculation is the stuff of bets looking for better odds. I refuse to be pulled along as if an addict driven to shakes by the lure of the mysterious. Bring me a scenario that has US government’s input and I’ll read it. But pundits and story tellers are a dime a dozen, selling books or expertise because they have a hook for the hooked.

        • LCPL_X says:


          The Sec. of Defense said they killed the terrorists; that they used a special Hellfire missile for it; that there may have been collateral damage due to those terrorist’s cargo of explosives. That’s the gist of the official narrative.

          I’m simply pointing out that the picture says otherwise. Notice the SUV and the garden on the upper portion of that photo. That’s not secondary explosions from said strike, that is said strike. In other photos and angles, the lower right portion is considerably further down on the ground.

          I believe that ‘s the front of the car, so the missile struck towards the front. Then the fire happened, because theres really no blast radius, look at the floor. There’s more photos that tell a consistent story.

          My point is just that your dependence on “official” or “US gov’t” account is proving to be the wrong stance. When all along they’ve consistently given us the wrong scoop. Fed us crap and kept us in the dark. Skepticism pays off.

          • LCPL_X says:

            This one,

          • JoeAm says:

            No, thanks. You have free rein in your rabbit hole, hosting your tea party. Enjoy yourself. If you see Chempo down there, give him a wave.

            • LCPL_X says:


              The point is simple, the official narrative does not match the photos.

              • LCPL_X says:

                FWIW though, I’m still really impressed at how surgical and contained the strike was. It just killed the wrong people. Sorry.

                And from the surviving family’s description, no switch blades, it looked like incendiary smart missile. But both the photos of the switch blade missile and this one, I think i’ll have to rethink my stance on drone strikes now.

                Only flaw is the intel and identification portion, but it looks like they’ve perfected it. Now very surgical. I mean look how contained it was! The physics too is interesting, you can almost tell from which direction the missile came from.

              • JoeAm says:

                Speculative. I’ll have to get a rubber stamp I can append to such opinions lest people think it’s news or some kind of certified truth. Typing this is a headache.

              • JoeAm says:

                I understand the US is investigating the incident. I hope they issue a public report.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                @LCX, I wanted to ask you that since you are for precision or surgical kllls, why go against drones.
                Better than having a group of Marines, Seals. or rangers doing the surgical kills.The nightmares will be left to fewer drone operators.

              • LCPL_X says:


                Because historically drones have killed more civilians than targets, and then you have the problem of drones being used against individual gripes (like I think what happened here).

                With more precision, the problem will be more on intel and ID’ing targets.

                Swarming drones as tech weapon against say China makes sense. Not in assassinations that kill civilians. Assassinations by definition are suppose to be surgical. So in conclusion,

                I ‘m against drones for assassination when mistaken identity and civilian deaths are more likely to happen.

                Then theres the issue of narrative, where they say in the podium we did this and that, and the pictures on the ground say otherwise. That’s par for the course of our 20 year war, karl.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “it’s news or some kind of certified truth.”

                I’m not saying I’m right, I’m simply saying look at those pictures. Then compare it to the official narrative. It don’t jibe.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                With facial recognition improving, ai assisted drones might kill less civilians. But do not remove the human factor.
                I am pro drone mixed with human touch and AI.
                History does not have to insanely repeat itself.

              • JoeAm says:

                Viet Nam was a body count war. Every day another 50 or 300. Americans got tired of it. 50,008 total, as I recollect the 8 being women, nurses all. Afghanistan was nothing like that. Drones took the place of boots on the ground. There were no jungles. Perfect. They could have zapped Bin Laden that way but they wanted proof.

                I’m pro-drone myself. The civilian casualties are unfortunate. There’d be more with boots there. I think rules that hold America to account but not the states or people who harbor bombers is morally out of balance.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                The civilian casualties are unfortunate. I am standing my ground on drones.Btw Thanks for sharing your account about Vietnam Nam.

              • kasambahay says:

                about killer drones, I heard the newer ones act like ‘ninjas’. ninja drone can take out a target, without harming the person standing beside the target. so precise. only top brasses are approved to use such drones. and if you know where to look, drones have serial nos. courtesy of their country of origin.

              • JoeAm says:

                Lasers will just chop their arms off or melt the tires on the car.

              • kasambahay says:

                laser is good, but. chopping an arm off a suicide bomber will only let the bomber use the other arm to detonate a bomb, or the feet, or the voice in voice activated bombs. as well, puncturing tires will only disable a vehicle, clear and present danger is still there.

                killer drone was deployed in afghanistan. its only purpose is the complete and immediate cessation of a target’s life, stealth and brutal.

        • LCPL_X says:

          LOL! 😉

          Looks like the tables have turned, gents! I’m anti-drones , y’all pro-drones; I’m pro-EJKs , y’all anti- , how to rectify this dissonance is the point of the current blog methinks!!! more so than science and speculations.

          For some added consideration here’s an article, so its just not my opinion, sourced opinion if you will, LOL! 😉

          “In my experience, the bar for thorough military investigation has been so high as to discount a majority of credible incidents. What investigations do take place are neither consistent nor rigorous,” said Nick McDonell, author of “The Bodies in Person: An Account of Civilian Casualties in American Wars,” an analysis of the impact of the U.S. air wars in the Middle East. “At the same time, the military has repeatedly suppressed information on civilian casualties. The drone program is opaque, with extremely limited accountability for anyone involved.”

          What separated the recent Kabul drone strike from the long pattern of reported civilian deaths was the level of immediate attention and outrage it has generated. The U.S. war in Afghanistan has mostly been waged in rural areas, away from the attention of international media. Kabul, on the other hand, is the highly populated capital and the country’s center for expatriates, nongovernmental organizations, and both Afghan as well as international journalists.”

          • isk says:

            @ Sir Lance- I truly understand your position on these drones kill. Thanks for the link.

            As to Benny Winslow video, yeah it is complicated . Military recruitment is somewhat messed up in Afghanistan, unlike in America, the recruits are high school graduates.

          • JoeAm says:

            The drone incident is loud because it is tragic, but it is quite incredible, is it not, that more fingers point to the US, even for the one that went off, than to ISIS. Even in America. My view is that the US will investigate, find areas where decision-making was made, judge it was all reasonable for the intent, to prevent hundreds of deaths, and move on. It’s a global pattern, the good are really bad when they don’t do perfection, and the bad are bad, and that’s okay, because we expect them to be bad. The incident will gain note in the more detailed history records. The world, even Afghans, will move on. It’s a whole new day, for good or bad, and the book-sellers and propagandists will do what they always do. Paint pictures on one side of the canvas.

            • JoeAm says:

              Ha! How do I copyright a term? “Good Man’s Burden”. I claim it, having just described it. Anyone can use the term if they send me 50 cents. I’ll run billing totals on those who don’t advance-pay.

              • LCPL_X says:

                You’ll need a logo of sorts to go along w/ that phrase , Joe.

                I propose this,

                (where box A is Good since its basking in the light, not under shade 😉 NH, gets it. )

              • NHerrera says:

                LCPL_X, I suggest these changes to the proposed logo. Put black letter G (for Good) on the white square to the left of your A; letter B (for Bad) on the black square to the left of your B. Then erase your original A and B.

                Explanation. The overall Good deed albeit with its collateral stain or imperfection is seen right away in that white square in the light; the overall Bad deed in the shadow is hardly seen — except for people like JoeAm et al. That will be a good logo for “Good Man’s Burden.”

                P.S. My 50 US cents paid for as a bottle of SanMig awaits JoeAm after Go’s Pandemic or AGP in biblical time terms.

              • NHerrera says:

                And speaking of AGP, if TSH will allow, I want to post this short article of Inquirer’s John Nery. It is yet again an example of the very bad not being seen in this benighted [as in overtaken by darkness] land except for people like John Nery et al.


              • JoeAm says:

                He brings out the character of Go that causes cringe wherever he goes. He has negative charisma.

              • NHerrera says:

                Also, it is difficult to find a redeeming service he has done for the country — leaving aside the caregiving service to his Boss who otherwise needs it from somebody else. Nada!

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes. Completely self-absorbed.

              • kasambahay says:

                joeam, dept of trade maybe can register your product and copyright them for you, for a fee. must be original product though and not previously copyrighted.

                as for the unfortunate bong go, I’m so going for the collateral: roque.

                re: PPEs, roque intimated the aquino govt have bought ppes kahit walang pandemic nuon, implying corruption.

                for roque’s info, doh in any govt always prepare for the worst and has stockpile of ppes for emergency use of health personnel in case there is bio-warfare, ebola outbreak, sars outbreak like what previously happened in hongkong, sarin gas attact like what happened in tokyo airport, etc. in worst case scenario, health personnel can easily deploy to dangerous hot spots, already attired in ppes for their own safety and can quickly commence saving lives.

                ppes keep well having longer shelf life. the stockpile of ppes not used because there was no biosecurity threats like what happened in pres aquino’s time, will be handed over to the next doh chief after the change of govt. doh should then have a ready reserve of ppes, courtesy of the previous aquino govt. ex pres aquino left doh well stocked and not in a lurch.

                and if roque calls that corruption, I seriously think, there is something not right with roque.

              • JoeAm says:

                Thanks for the PPE analysis. No question, Roque has issues.

            • LCPL_X says:

              LCPL_X, I suggest these changes to the proposed logo. Put black letter G (for Good) on the white square to the left of your A; letter B (for Bad) on the black square to the left of your B. Then erase your original A and B.”

              Interesting idea, but the illusion is premised on the cylinder being movable, NH.

              Thus if you follow your instructions, but we move the cylinder to where the old A was, its the same situation , no?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Please explain the lack of accountability on use of drones. The chain of command is still there(command responsibility). Remove the plausible deniability by requiring every op to be recorded and open to scrutiny. Just like body cams in poluce military opsand dash board cams in traffic incidents.

            • JoeAm says:

              There is no international body that has authority over US actions, I suppose. It’s the same with Israel. I do believe the US program is under constant review within the US military command and does try to avoid civilian casualties (that’s why the blade warhead was developed, I’d guess at no small cost). If the critics could just stop the terrorists, of course, there’d be no problem at all.

              • LCPL_X says:

                “Please explain the lack of accountability on use of drones. “

                Joe, karl, you guys just saw it this weekend. We killed bad guys, press on the ground said nope you kille d a family.

                Now rewind to all the other times we were told bad guys are dead. Then news surfaced that it was a wedding or it was a house full of kids, but we doubt that narrative because we want to believe the US and its military are “good”.

                The terrorists are bad, but the folks dropping bombs (albeit now with blades and incendiaries which now contain the killing), are making it out to be like they’re 100% accurate (Joe said he was in awe of the intel gathering even!!!); and then theres us that consume their crap stories, because they’re “good”.

                It’s like my Mexican neighbors who like parties til 12am, playing ranchero music, karl; I shouldn’t be able to pass “intel” to have a predator then drop a Hellfire missile at them. That’s too much power! And why because I don’t like ranchero music , because its the same beat over and over?

                Joe’s right, we’ll move on and forget. But should I have that power to pass info to get an American drone to attack my neighbors? that’s what’s at issue here. Not more casualties or less. its the fact that I can game the American intel apparatus so easily.

                p.s.– I do enjoy ranchero music, karl. 😉 And all the chunty women that dance to it. mmmmmmmmmmm….

              • JoeAm says:

                Well to correct your miss-impressions, no one believes the weapons are 100% accurate, but a good many people believe they are better than boots on the ground and that there are bad international terrorists intent upon blowing up buildings and ships and innocents within them. Trying to remake nations as a path to security obviously is not working (score +100 for Biden for acting on this). But the bad guys are bad and the people defending the innocent, as you do, are the good guys.

                Life’s not black and white, it’s rich with shades of gray, and even colors, and is always on the move, smearing the colors a bit.

                I love Mexican culture, and even Guatemalan. Nothing more fun than swilling beer and scraping a washboard to the raucus beat of music rich with real life and all kinds of colors.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Thanks Joe.

              • LCPL_X says:

                I love Birria tacos too, Joe.

                But if no one second guesses these drone attacks, we’ll see more and more of them in Mexico too. No more Birria for me!

                “In 1519, Hernán Cortés and the Conquistadors first landed in Mexico, bringing various old-world domestic animals, including goats. During the Conquest of Mexico, the Conquistadors were faced with an overpopulation of goats, so they decided to give the animals to the natives.

                While goat meat was looked down upon by the Conquistadors, as it was tough, had a strong smell, and was hard to digest, the natives accepted the animals, marinating the meat in indigenous styles and cooking it underground, making the meat palatable and appetizing.

                The dishes they produced were called “birria”, a derogatory term meaning “worthless”, by the Spanish, in reference to their having given the natives meat with apparently noxious characteristics.” — from Wiki

              • JoeAm says:

                Drones are not going away. They are cheap and useful. The current international focus is on drawing up rules to ban fully autonomous weapon systems that track, target, and kill people without human intervention. The Philippines is participating in the effort. The Philippines speaks at 1:53:30.


              • LCPL_X says:

                Oh, that’s an interesting debate now, good video, thanks!

                Who do I favor to make these decisions,

                as we’ve seen on the Kabul drone strike, maybe had some AI/metadata computer program had searched for said targets , then the family would still be alive; instead of human sources and word of mouth basically, full of errors.

                They say all the nuke meltdowns thus far were all due to human error, and why Bill Gates is really confident with his new nuke reactor design because it does away with human errors, simply with a more robust code and check and balance of machines.

                We’re probably not at that level yet, but then again I’ve seen Tesla’s whiz by me on the freeway with their drivers asleep reclined position. People use to work in elevators as operators because people were scared of operating one.

                We go up and down just fine now. SO…

                We return again to Asimov’s Robot laws.

                The next issue would be , if we accept that robots can do this better, and have no qualms w/ machines keeping us safe, we’ll then have to accept them also prosecuting police duties. You look at youtube and those robots can run, jump, swarm, even dance, with AI/metadata they’ll make great cops too.

                I’m for robots making these decisions, Joe. People make too much of a mess. Robots will do better.

            • LCPL_X says:

              re UN conference on robots/AI,

              I don’t think there was an argument for robots/AI taking over the killings, Joe, but robots/AI we have indeed let take over in much of our tasks, especially the mundane ones. Driving has pretty much been perfected, wherein much of the accidents are actually human errors. Driverless cars are a coming.

              So if we continue with the blog’s topic of science and knowledge then the end result has to be robots/AI doing the killing for us. If we can let robots/AI ensure no meltdowns in these newer nuke facilities, then those folks at the UN are talking backwards re technology and the trajectory of said uses.

              I would’ve loved to hear this argued in the UN. If that guy falls directly under Teddy Boy, maybe he can send a pro-robots guy from the Philippines to argue the robots’ side, this might bring the Philippines some notoriety and funding in robotics and AI tech.

              • LCPL_X says:

                if you think of it, 80% of policing is simply applying appropriate laws and enforcing them with spirit of the law and/or letter of the law, given the wider context of an incident.

                Then 20% is tactics, ensuring officer safety and that of the public, then of the assailant. in that order. Though the first two can be debated, ie. sacrifice, etc.

                Here’s a good article, on AI and lawyering…


                “Technology can be unpredictable

                Our research project – in which we collaborated with computer scientists and linguists at MITRE, a federally funded nonprofit devoted to research and development – was not meant to be about automation. As law professors, we were trying to identify the text features of successful versus unsuccessful legal briefs.

                We gathered a small cache of legal briefs and judges’ opinions and processed the text for analysis.

                One of the first things we learned is that it can be hard to predict which tasks are easily automated. For example, citations in a brief – such as “Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954)” – are very easy for a human to pick out and separate from the rest of the text. Not so for machine learning software, which got tripped up in the blizzard of punctuation inside and outside the citation.

                It was like those “Captcha” boxes you are asked to complete on websites to prove you’re not a robot – a human can easily spot a telephone pole, but a robot will get confused by all the background noise in the image.

                A tech shortcut

                Once we figured out how to identify the citations, we inadvertently stumbled on a methodology to automate one of the most challenging and time-consuming aspects of legal practice: legal research.

                The scientists at MITRE used a methodology called “graph analysis” to create visual networks of legal citations. The graph analysis enabled us to predict whether a brief would “win” based on how well other briefs performed when they included a particular citation.

                Later, however, we realized the process could be reversed. If you were a lawyer responding to the other side’s brief, normally you would have to search laboriously for the right cases to cite using an expensive database. But our research suggested that we could build a database with software that would just tell lawyers the best cases to cite. All you would need to is feed the other side’s brief into the machine.”


                Then the now popular statement by Gen. Hayden,

                Of course knowing the content of a call can be crucial to establishing a particular threat. But metadata alone can provide an extremely detailed picture of a person’s most intimate associations and interests, and it’s actually much easier as a technological matter to search huge amounts of metadata than to listen to millions of phone calls. As NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker has said, “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.” When I quoted Baker at a recent debate at Johns Hopkins University, my opponent, General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, called Baker’s comment “absolutely correct,” and raised him one, asserting, “We kill people based on metadata.”

              • LCPL_X says:

                Think about the ramifications of both articles,

                If sometime in the future internet porn is deemed a capital offense, and I have like 20 years of metadata of this personal indulgence. I’ll surely receive a Hellfire missile in my tiny apartment. I won’t be able to complete my last sentence, which will probably go something like this, “it was from the comfort of my own home!!!……….” Boom!!!

                Who’s gonna be accountable, the program which generated my metadata (which I have to admit, am guilty of, karl), or some guy who graduated from Liberty or Regent law school, being sanctimonious as fuck, or blame the fact that all this online porn is free.

                The point is I won’t get to explain myself, or bring in character witnesses to insist that that portion of my daily routine which eventually become meta- was actually minuscule, compared to all my time researching about AI and Inday Sara, and pumped storage electricity batteries. karl, and others here can definitely vouch of this, but if I don’t have a day in court, how?

              • JoeAm says:

                Oh, I love AI myself. Humans build the systems though. So there has to be an off switch.

              • LCPL_X says:

                There’s no off switch for Bitcoin (et al) and decentralized internet (still to come). Like COVID19. Can’t turn it off.

              • JoeAm says:

                Then humans will become subordinate to emotionless machines. Fascinating. My son will lead the human rebels.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                No a Terminator Skynet Industries like future. Maybe Stark tech Iron Man armours would be great.

      • LCPL_X says:

        There’s an assumption here that AI/robots are bad; but if we follow the logical end of knowledge and science, just like we’ve assumed that US is good; Taliban bad, we have to conclude that the end of the line of science and knowledge isn’t human.


        But that “inaction” clause is tricky. Really tricky.

        • NHerrera says:

          Aah, artificial intelligence, robotics, and Asimov’s Laws of Robotics — a nice set of topics to think about as we go forward.

          It’s too bad the current state of knowledge of this set was not available when going nuclear for power plants was stymied — because of the great concern with radioactivity risks due to radioactive waste fuel, etc. Robotics and AI would have been a game-changer when coupled with the current knowledge of climate change from CO2.

          But we still have to contend with the lobbyists and politics of oil — a great wall to overcome.

          Oh, well, as I said, a nice set of topics to think about — especially if tired of following Trump, Duterte, Go, among others.

  7. NHerrera says:

    I am greatly impressed with the solemn dignified-transfer ceremony of U.S. service members’ remains at Dover Air Force Base which President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden attended. Each casket was given the same dignified honor.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    On topic
    Guesses-Untested Hypothesis
    Tested Hypothesis=Basis of Conclusion

    The basic steps of the scientific method are: 1) make an observation that describes a problem, 2) create a hypothesis, 3) test the hypothesis, and 4) draw conclusions and refine the hypothesis. … Critical thinking is a key component of the scientific method. Without it, you cannot use logic to come to conclusions.

    • kasambahay says:

      very true, scientific community needs evidence, evidence that can be replicated over time and the same conclusion arrived at. if it cannot be replicated, then it’s just an experiment. better luck next time.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Ok, fellow kindergarten buddies: all those who say in sum that what President Biden did in Afghanistan the last few weeks was right, including all errors factual if any or imagined, raise your right hands; those who do not believe so, bury your heads in the sand. 🙂

    Good morning fellows. Got up late after starting to read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” again.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    Re Birriya.

    LcX here Barya means loose change.
    Maybe if you rode a jeepney or bought something in the sari-sari store you saw a sign : Barya lang sa umaga.

    ( only loose, small or exact change in the morning)

    • LCPL_X says:

      Hahahaha… you just gave me a flashback, karl! I do remember paying a bill and being told no change, due to it being early morning! LOL! and i’m like, what does morning have to do with a bit of preparation? They said something else in Visayan though, i forget. but not barya i dont think.

      Not only that, I had to unlatch and roll down the clear plastic covering due to rain, then button up at the bottom. LOL! not really a button, it was metal, that you insert thru the hole and twist the flat to make perpendicular to its base to fasten the plastic. Thus no rain comes in.

      • LCPL_X says:

        So i ended up buying Chiclets to break my bill, and a bottle of water too I think, LOL! from some kid selling it on the street. If the kid had change, why couldn’t the driver? I’m sure San Miguel grande and/or Red Horse the night before. See the kid was prepared, a true entrepreneur!!!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        You call that plastic cover: trapal
        Bisayan word fot coins : sinsilyo

        • kasambahay says:

          yay, at one stage, our country reported a lack of coins even though central bank said there is enough coins to go around. apparently coins are being melted to make bullets, lol!

          • LCPL_X says:

            I forget now if it was the Philippines, but I remember some country’s currency with some kind of plastic or polymer for coins. So weird.

            • kasambahay says:

              plastic bullets, but most coins are still made of metal/alloy. paper bills on the other hands are now increasingly made of plastic polymer, their features make them harder to fake or copy, and longer lasting too. dont tear easily.

              a while back, a construction worker, a lowly pahenante, was paid a week’s salary in coins! several gallons of plastic bottles full of coins and several kilos in weight pa. so heavy. the pahenante was incensed and reported the incident. his boss, who happens to be chinese, was fined for discrimination. all other workers kasi were paid in paper bills.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            That is why Car batteries are sought after by the black smiths, it is for the tingga or nickel but those old nickel coins would do the same job.

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    On topic:
    LCX, the country where you found plastic coins was actually Vegas, maybe you were too drunk to remember that you won millions of chips and just lost it all when you wanted more and played cards.

  12. madlanglupa says:

    (OFFTOPIC) I don’t have a Twitter account, but suffice to say the PRRD-Go relationship is comparable to Diem-Nhu.

    (ONTOPIC) while the world debates and ponder over the merits of the withdrawal and the consequences thereof, with the blame game going in the West, along with Chinese, Iranian and Russians grandstanding at their pulpits, of course the Taliban simply shrugs all that off and have a nice victory lap with their war trophies, be it Humvees and MRAPs on parade, toying around with fitness equipment, or driving bumper cars at an amusement park.

    • JoeAm says:

      I read that the Taliban are irked because a lot of the equipment left by the US doesn’t run. I can imagine some guy from the mechanics group being assigned to run around and yank out vital parts.

      • kasambahay says:

        hah, I told them before they ought to booby trap them equipment left behind. ayaw nila, illegal kuno yang booby traps along with land mines.

      • madlanglupa says:

        They’ll just sell some of the leftover hulks to the Iranians, already heirs to much of the deposed Shah’s arsenal, in exchange for anything.

        • kasambahay says:

          big headache, selling those leftover american hulks to the iranians maybe problematic. other countries may not give passage to talibs, and if they go by roads they’d be likely blocked. peace loving countries may not welcome talibs presence in their land. and if talibs go by air, same thing may happen, not allowed in any countries’ air space, no clearance, no permit. if they go by sea, american drones can easily get them. I can already imagine killer ninja drones cutting down the captain of the ship.

          the leftover hulks would just have to be chopped chopped while in afghanistan, taken in parts and then sold by stealth to iranians by a commissioned 3rd party. maybe, the hulks can be re-assembled over there in iran, to be used vs the israelis. or maybe deployed in syria.

          • kasambahay says:

            madlang, you mentioned digong and bong go’s relationship reminiscent of the meldy and ferdy’s conjugal relationship.

            I think, in psychology it’s called enmeshment, digong and bong is so invested in each other’s wants and needs, they can barely be separated. both dabawenyos therefore family. and much to the exclusion of others, digong will likewise enmesh with all other dabawenyos too, trusting and appointing them to govt’s top position. blind to all their faults.

            it’s unhealthy and not good for the country.

            • JoeAm says:

              Excellent. I tweeted this comment this morning.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              He offered to be VP to Sara because he is hopelessly devoted to the Dutertes. (Paraphrased Go)
              What will PDP say? Is Duts really not serious in accepting the VP nomination?

              • kasambahay says:

                methink, it would have to be raffled, those wanting to be inday sara’s running mate, lol! sherwin gatchalian, bong marcos, imee marcos, gilbert teodoro, bong go et al.

                with sara kasi, honesty is not issue, kaya dagsa sila. the bar is lower, easy to reach. no sweat.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                who has the longest nose?

  13. NHerrera says:

    While we are talking about knowledge, this pdf file, titled “Salamat Pnoy.” may be appropriate.

    Set aside the accolades if you wish, go to latter portions for accomplishments as knowledge seekers. [Confirm too, from other sources if you wish.]

    • kasambahay says:

      panahon ni pres noy, those were good times, his mantra: for the good of the nation. he was trendsetter then and has paid the price, ironically; politically. but his legacy cannot be denied and live longer than him. all hail!

      duque would not have lasted with pnoy. dr ona, pnoy’s health chief got the marching order when pnoy learned of dr ona’s activity that was not robustly for the good of the nation. those were happy times, our dancing doctor, dr eric tayag, could put tiktok to shame.

      hope for the best, but prepared for the worst. pnoy stockpiled hazmat suits o biohazard suits that can withstand radiation. nuclear war was always in everyone’s mind then with those foreign submarines and ships visiting our shores, carrying nuclear warheads.

      the suits were also good to use for biochemical threats, like gas and germ warfare. pnoy was prepared. he wont be caught flatfooted.

      pnoy even stockpiled rice too, our people wont starve. he also stockpiled dengvaxia when he learned dengvax was effective against dengue. so many of our people died of dengue and pnoy wanted to stop unnecessary deaths. but then, dengvaxia was heavily politicised, thanks to duterte’s shallow mindedness. duterte was magnet for shallow minds, lol!

      had it been pnoy, he would have stockpiled covid vaccines at the 1st chance he got; teddy locsin and ambassador romualdez would not need to court pompeo for our pfizer shipment. our people would have been covid vaccinated early on and our economy would not have tanked so bad. pnoy was hard act to follow. he was trendsetter.

  14. Micha says:

    Just want to drop this newslink here if only to highlight how a national gov’t steeped in old school on its own financial tools and resources would go to such lengths as corrupting and prostituting its own people.

    • JoeAm says:

      It really is a crony government. The people are alternately an irritation, an excuse, or a milking cow. No love at all.

      • kasambahay says:

        I doubt if boracaynos will benefit from the tax collected from duterte’s proposed boracay casino.

        once collected by bir, the tax will most go to dabaw inc. as always. though boracay will be very much richer in human wastes, courtesy of hurriedly built casino.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      They will say it is Sin Tax.

      • Micha says:

        Only local gov’ts (towns, cities, provinces) need taxes for its spending.

        Not so for national gov’t which finances its programs and projects, ad hoc, through congressional fiat and legislation.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Between the late 1800s and the beginning of 1900s gambling was brought to the area now known as Las Vegas. Explorers and seekers, during the California gold rush, settled in the area and started their gambling practices. But a nationwide crackdown on gambling all but eradicated gambling establishments from the area.


      In 1905 Las Vegas was founded, a small town that was just established as a stopover for trains travelling between Las Angeles and Salt Lake City. Gambling remained outlawed but there were some underground casinos that still operated.

      Gambling Comes to Vegas (Legally)

      1931 was the year that changed the future outlook of Las Vegas forever. First the construction of Hoover Dam was started that brought thousands of workers into the town. Gambling was legalized in the city that brought an influx of money for the city’s economy and it prospered.


      So technically the river boats that plied the Mississippi and New Orleans was the first “Las Vegas” in the 1800s.


      So if you track Las Vegas, and all other examples of successful gambling as its main economy cities, there’s a good possibility that once the influx of money comes in, you’ll be able to create a sustainable economy.

      Now granted Vegas is dependent on the now fast depleting Colorado river for its water and power. W/ climate change and heat also droughts, Las Vegas will have to find another venue. But if you simply follow the template now, its an easily movable feast.

      Maybe back to Reno, i dunno.

      Las Vegas only became tamed when actual corporations started running it, after the mob, and strong public officials making sure the money went back in to the local economy.

      So study the ebb and flows of towns like Vegas, and realize that if individuals and families run the show, the money will simply evaporate; but if you maybe invite Las Vegas operations like in Macau , you’ll get fairer distribution of the profits, thus

      benefiting the Aklan/Antique areas.

      The question now is who are the public servants, local strong families, corporations, etc. in the Aklan/Antique area that can keep an eye on the profits of the casinos and related operations?

      Prostitution will surely go up along the rise of casinos, as these industries are related, so too drugs, uppers usually to keep patrons up all night to spend their cash. But simply introducing entertainment, like concerts, or clubs, night and day, will keep everyone up and about, just like Vegas.

      So like Vegas a lot of investment also needs to be in surveillance. Related to our AI/robots talk above.

      My point, this could work. and Aklan could be the new Macau. What’s Mar Roxas position on this?

      • LCPL_X says:

        Remember this… ?

        • kasambahay says:

          mainland china could do well with several casinos, lol! so chinese celebs dont need to be overly taxed to fund xi’s world domination forays. the chinese are already legends in entertainment, running casinos would be child’s play. all that money to be had, beijing would be a city that never winks, lol! eyes steady on the chips.

          having casino income would satiate china’s salacious need for big and bigger bucks. let them overseas high roller gamblers come to beijing in their private jets and yachts to spend, spend, spend. overtaking china’s infamous build, build, build.

          xi is getting old, his mind seemingly closed to other possibilities, lol!

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Make it illegal in your area so you could go elsewhere and spread your terror.
            We all know of Macau ,HK, Pogos here
            So when China crackdown happens, they are fooling themselves because they just NIMBY and go to someone elses Yard.

            Crackdown on rare earth after Tibet had documented dead yaks due o Lithium mining,The border on Mongolia had its own documentary…so move to Myanmar, Afghanistan and of course the Philippines where they can flatten a mountain but the Supreme court denied the writ of kalikasan (the one in Zambales). Too many technicalities and jibberish to make you regret filing a petition.

            • kasambahay says:

              the principality of monaco is tax haven, got its income mostly from glitzy casinos. its citizens, the monageskans (dont know how to spell this) dont pay tax. very rich monaco is, its citizens got job priority over others. all employable monageskans are employed and holding down jobs in banking, policing, health, govt administration, etc.

              real estate in monaco is uber dear but the monageskans enjoy subsidized housing, free health care, etc. criminality is nearly non-existent. for a foreigner, becoming citizens of monaco is near impossible, unless one marries a monageskan.

              here in our country, we have thousands of pogos and they rarely pay tax. only protection money regularly paid to politicians and kapolisan, methink.

              duterte’s govt missed out big time on pogo taxes. and all the while pogos use our decades old infrastructures without contributing to their upkeep. paying protection money is not same as paying tax.

              • kasambahay says:

                supreme court is full of duterte’s appointees. the justices are supposed to be independent and not habang buhay beholden to who appointed them. supposed to be appointed on merits too, not on where they came from and whether they have crossed path with the sick old man from dabaw.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                One of Nicole Kidman’s finest peformances.


                As said in one of my comments. Too many kingpins here enough to fill a bowling alley.
                AMLC or ant money laundering council keeps on playing cat and mouse or whack a mole but still no Al Capone meets Elliot Ness moment.

                The richest people here are not the top tax payers because ewan

                Lucio Co pays more tax than Lucio Tan


              • Monaco is one of the last European micro-states, ruled by the Grimaldis, known as “pirate nobility” to the old, snobbish European crowd, or as the first “tabloid nobility” to many a man on the street, it’s ruler making headlines in the 1950s or 1960s by marrying American actress Grace Kelly, her daughters and their boyfriends likewise favorites of the Euro tabloid press for some time.

                Monaco is the place where nobility and celebrities meet, it is in a very big league far removed from Las Vegas, its harbor parking space for yachts of billionaires. Such a place of course also has its edges like Las Vegas, including the cheaper but still expensive houses and lots just outside Monaco, on the French side of the border. Of course Monaco is part of the broader area known as the French Riviera, a place of fun and party, but certainly also with the dark underbelly shown in Netflix’s “Gone for Good”.

              • kasambahay says:

                Irineo, karlG, talks of dark underbelly got me thinking: the real princess grace of monaco was reported to have marital problems and later died in a car crash, princess diana also died in car crash, apparently royal spouses that are getting a bit problematic seemingly died in car crashes.

                maybe, it’s no wonder then princess charlene of monaco is staying put in her country of origin, in south africa, and not coming back anytime soon to monaco. sick apparently and missed celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary. princess charlene is reported to be unhappy in her marriage too.

                prince albert and their kids visited princess charlene in south africa and prince albert said the princess will be coming back to monaco in october this year, only for the princess to fall ill again, and was hospitalised again. her october homecoming put on hold indefinitely.

                princess charlene had better not travel in a car, lol!

              • sonny says:

                Demonym for Monaco: Monegasque aka Monacan

      • Micha says:

        Boracay is a tiny tiny place with an already strained and fragile ecosystem just for the normal white beach tourism. Las Vegas was killed by covid so putting up a casino in Boracay at this time when a gamma and lambda mutation is set to come after the delta is a bad idea.

        The country is already actually pockmarked with casinos. There are casinos in Baguio, Angeles, Laoag, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tagaytay, and maybe there’s another in Palawan too. You think those areas prospered when they’re competing for clients and gamblers?

        It’s an idle unproductive enterprise for the real economy whilst straining environmental resources.

        • LCPL_X says:

          “pockmarked with casinos. There are casinos in Baguio, Angeles, Laoag, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tagaytay, and maybe there’s another in Palawan too.”

          Maybe this is the actual problem, I’ve been to the casino on Mactan island Cebu as it was across from the airport. Why not just have one place, consolidate, follow the Las Vegas template— and no, Vegas wasn’t killed, people go there now like theres no COVID19, though that whole issue w/ the Colorado river is probably what’s gonna do Vegas in.

          If casinos are consolidated in one place, they for sure will improve sanitation issues, as for ecotourism and environment, there’s a big national park just south of the airport. Look at Oahu island, that’s basically a city on an island, it works. Boracay island can be made in Macau and Las Vegas’ image, keep the national preserve to the south , to prevent urbanization ghettoization like Vegas north eastside.

          • Micha says:

            The fact that there are casinos all over the place suggests that mobsters of (perhaps) Chinese variety have gained access to PTB.

            The whole country has a casino economy. Hedonistic pursuits take precedence and the mob stash the money.

            You know there’s something seriously and fundamentally wrong when the national gov’t has to allegedly rely on casino revenue to fund its pandemic response.

            • LCPL_X says:

              “Funding” COVID19 response via casinos is just an excuse to get casinos there, Micha. I get that. My point is simply that if done right like Macau and Vegas, a gambling economy can work.

              PTB and PAGCOR can be adjusted to be more powerful like , sure China’s powerful , but if Macau can still prosper under China, then that means profits can be shared,

              You don’t see Macau protesting like HK.

              But my point is Las Vegas works, a bunch of people have benefited greatly form the gambling industry there. And the shows, that’s better than any culture, well maybe not as good as Hollywood or Broadway, but all those Cirque du Soleil shows,

              if nothing else came out of Vegas, this entertainment phenomenon pushed human culture forward, Micha.


              • LCPL_X says:

                ooooops, this…

              • Micha says:

                Las Vegas is NOT the United States. You do not formulate a gambling economy in a countrywide scale. Undergirding all that hedonism in Vegas is the industrial and agricultural base for the rest of continental US.

                A lone casino in a small island of Boracay is not going to scale up in terms of revenue and productivity even for the province of Aklan.

                How’s that casino revenue in Angeles and Laoag doing so far?

              • JoeAm says:

                Wikipedia lists 26 casinos in Manila, from card rooms to full-blown resorts. There are 4 in Angeles City/Pampanga and 3 in Subic/Olongapo. There are a small smattering across the nation. I often stay at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu, a nice facility comparable to a small Vegas outlet. Several pricey restaurants, predominantly Asian clientele (Korean, Chinese). Not a prostitution den. The Olongapo/Angeles areas of course were born from US bases. Manila now pogo-central. The rest niche players. It’s an industry, treading the shady line of drugs and money laundering. The Philippines is known for beaches and fun so casinos fit.

              • LCPL_X says:

                One casino per town is not the best way to do this, Micha. So consolidate like Vegas/Macau.

                Sure the Indian casinos are making a killing, but that too all depends on location, most Socal Indian casinos are doing well. And it does benefit the tribes, how they re-invest that into their community though is not very uniform consistent, some good some bad, more thunder-water and meth for others.

                I’m not talking about national strategy, but a means to consolidate casinos someplace, sure maybe Boracay isn’t the best, maybe Samal island in Davao is better, but my point is simply that Vegas and Macau model works. Consolidate.

                So why not copy that.

                The gamblers ‘ mindset is that he wants to constantly be moving around, like in Vegas, one casino you’re feeling lucky, once luck is perceived to run out, you go to the next casino, but with added attractions and entertainment even better, like pools or stores, etc. Think adult amusement park, you don’t wanna just have one ride.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’d tend to see casinos as one part of the bigger picture, fun in the sun. Manila will have its Vegas style perhaps, shows and fountains, but a casino in Boracay works as well, as in Cebu. Mactan Island will have beaches and casinos, a party island easily reached. It’s all good.

              • kasambahay says:

                someone must have been whispering to duterte a casino is needed in boracay. a one stop money laundering operation, vacation with a difference, lol! of course, duterte must say it’s for covid response, else boracynos will not let duterte a foothold in their little bit of paradise.

                palawan has already refused to be divided and thrashed the plebiscite. and now duterte is trying the casino trick to get back at them. in the guise of covid response kahit hindi gaano kalupit ang covid sa boracay.

                boracay to be made to suffer and shoulder the bulk of duterte’s covid mismangement.

              • kasambahay says:

                and if duterte is really serious about obtaining covid fund from casino, he might as well ask all existing casinos in our country to give to nationwide covid fund, and not overly burden boracay with the onerous task.

              • LCPL_X says:

                What if it’s Boracay and Aklan and Panay themselves that want casinos, maybe they want all this development?

                This sanctimonious argument doesn’t work. I’m w/ Joe vice is everywhere, whether or not you partake in gambling, gambling is no bigger vice. Study the ROIs and how it benefits (or not).

                Micha’s argument is superior IMHO, because it asks how much revenue is actually ending up in local economy.

                Joe’s correct, the casino in Mactan seems doing well. So the best thing to do is figure out, all the pros and cons of these casinos vis-a-vis their locations, compare contrast and start closing down the ones that are under performing because I betcha those ones will be the least likely to contribute, and will be more prone to negative effects of its surroundings.

                But going back to taxes, if you have casinos and the lottery, you can totally just tax the rich and corporations, because with gambling, the middle class and the poor will simply tax themselves. The poor surely will over tax themselves– but such is life.

                Do away with individual taxes.

                In the end, its about redistribution, so the gov’t has to ensure like in Vegas that public good is served with the profits. UNLV is a pretty good school, churning out graduates that end up serving back into that gambling economy, everytime I visit theres always an added building or extension of campus.

                Again those shows Joe’s talking about, the gambling economy can be your one stop patron of the arts. For example, Cebu is already your creatives driven economy (it churns graduates though for outside , export working in places like Singapore, etc.), with a bigger gambling economy added you’ll have an arts renaissance, like Cirque du Soleil and such.

                So subtract all the sanctimonious arguments, do more fact finding stuff, study where the money goes, then like in Vegas install surveillance both physical and digital, that is actually the best thing that came out of Vegas— money security.

                All equals peace of mind. Then just focus on the fun. Surrounded by two of the biggest Muslim countries, and China hovering in the north. It is truly more fun in the Philippines! Now if we can only get rid of dog poop everywhere , so we’re not constantly stepping on them.

                Bring back dog meat as delicacies, get rid of dog poop in the streets, convince DU30 to turn his EJK program towards dogs (and cats, but they tend to poop in out of the way places).

                Then invite Cirque du Soleil to the Philippines! like I said, its the pinnacle of art thus far.

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, you were going good until the dog meat, haha.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I admit to having a sanctimonious attitude for my FYs to you regarding EJKs and girly bars, but I still hate it when you mention EJK.
                Concerning my being pro drone my reasoning would also be less boots on the ground but all tools and weapons misused and abused would be wrong.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Re: Macao
                Here we have a maxim: “Lutong Macao”because they serve pre-cooked meals.

                Something is cooking in Macao that is why the youth of Macao have to travel to HK just to join the protests.


              • Karl Garcia says:

                Not a maxim but a pejorative.

            • LCPL_X says:

              I’m speaking literally re dog poop, Joe, maybe I step on more dog poop than the norm there thus clouding my perspective; but I suppose it can be taken as metaphor as well, dog poop.

              Like this poem which I’ll post in full (because its a poem, and it reminds me of Philippines, and Filipinos),

              BRUNO IN VENICE WEST

              By Lawrence Lipton

              For Giordano Bruno
              burned by the Inquisition
              in the year 1600

              [Poem removed by editor for length; not original discussion]


              As for the arts, I truly believe we’re only scratching the surface of the gaming industry, Joe.
              Keep an eye on this one,


              So is Godot any good then?

              I honestly have no idea. I’m excited to find out! It definitely looks promising!

              Why do you care about open source?

              I mean basically I just don’t think it’s good when the tools that we use are controlled by private companies. I think there are a lot of bad outcomes when that happens. Like maybe the company that makes your tools suddenly decides that they’d like you to pay a huge monthly subscription to continue to use the tools. Or maybe they get bought up by another company, and they stop updating your tools and then your tools stop working. Or maybe the company boasts publicly about how they’re working for the US military.

              Open Source is not perfect – it can be a double edged sword in a lot of messy ways. But for me it’s the difference between joining a co-op and licensing from a private company. Godot is MIT licensed, which doesn’t mean that it’s not owned by anyone (it’s got funding from various external companies, and a patreon) – but it does mean that, ultimately, it doesn’t just belong to the people making it. It belongs to everyone who contributes to it, and everyone who uses it.

              Ok! What’s the plan?

              Let’s all learn Godot, next weekend!

              Sometimes the word “game jam” means competition, but that’s not really the vibe I’m going for here. There’s no judging, and nobody is going to win. Or, if you prefer, as they say over at Ludum Dare, your game is your prize.

              What should I make?

              Something simple! You’re learning something new, so you can probably expect a lot of things to go wrong and for things to take longer than you’d planned. I recommend picking a really, really simple idea, something you’re sure you can finish in a couple of hours. The classic suggestion when learning a new engine is to try remaking an arcade game, which I think is good! The cool thing about doing that is you’ll likely have time to spare to add your own twist to things, and maybe discover something interesting along the way. Or maybe, you could remake one of your own games? Got an old jam game that you never finished up? Maybe remake it from scratch! Or make a sequel! The only really important thing is to try to finish it, from title screen to game over.


      • Karl Garcia says:

        Gambling is pre-historic.
        Ever since the very first betting challenge of how many club blows to the head if one loses a bet, gambling has been going on.
        Then the slot machines were invented, no more clubbing of heads because you can play with your self, but the house or the bank always wins.

        • LCPL_X says:

          Related to the current blog, you’re right , karl, gambling is fun, period. And the other activities that go along with it.

          So its a sure bet that money will come in; thus preventing it from leaving Aklan, Panay and the Philippines is what must be done.

          And to your and Micha’s point about local revenue, problem solved right? I’m sure Mar Roxas would agree to all this, YIMBY!!!

          • Karl Garcia says:

            On your why not consolidate.

            In terms of islands, Indonesia has more islands than the Philippines, low tide or hide tide but they only have one KNOWN beach resort and that is Bali. The others are unknown.

            It is ok to have gazillions of Casinos but it would be foolish to promote them all so you promote only one or three like the Bali model.
            But with our oneupmanship culture that will never happen.

            In the North you have the Simpsons este the Singsons plus rivals.
            So many king pins from North to South.

            • kasambahay says:

              I dont think gambling is that fun, maybe playing lotto is, but gambling in casinos is addictive and losing money is certainly not fun. gambling addicts ended up selling their houses, borrow money from lender sharks and end up losing their properties like land, cars, etc. and on the personal aspect, they end up losing their dignity and pride and their families also become victims. left to pick up the pieces, betrayed and often lied to.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                remember that department of finance guy who burnt a hotel casino in a hostage drama when Bato was still top cop?
                the guy’s story was sad.

              • kasambahay says:

                I remember, with great sadness.

              • JoeAm says:

                I think non-gamblers do the same thing, cheat on their spouses, do drugs and get drunk. Steal from work. Speed on the freeway. Beat their kids and kick the dog. Vegas is fun to visit, like being at the zoo but the animals are out. Near naked girls on the crowded sidewalk selling photos with them, the sound of a rollercoaster or Bellagio’s fountain or laughter from across the street. Blue Man Group or a circus of divers plunging into an indoor lake. Singers and comedians galore winding their lives down in a show. It’s all good.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Yes everyone has their sad story, but like watching news after reading a very sad news, a news reporter has muscle memory to be emotionless in shifting from sad news, bad news, good news and happy news.
                We must understand that it happens.

  15. Micha says:


    A “casino economy” is a pejorative term. It is used to refer to the ways and means of Wall Street financial institutions which basically suck money from the real economy. A giant squid octopus as Taibbi puts it.

    Wall Street firms are not doing anything productive, they are merely giant sucking machines – electro parasites feeding on the hard work and productivity of the laboring class.

    A distinction needs to be made between industrial capitalism and financial capitalism. Industrial capitalism in America started around the turn of the 20th century until early 1970’s. Industrial goods were churned out which brought relative prosperity across the board. This is what China is doing now.

    Financial capitalism, in contrast, just focused on money accumulation using financial engineering mostly in the FIRE sector (hedge funds, private equities, insurance, mega banks etc.). It’s striking feature is of course immense wealth for the very few and economic precarity for the rest. The working class shredded to bits. This is the latter stage of capitalism. And this is how Wall Street firms operate today.

    A literal casino – the ones you advocate for in Boracay – operates on the same sucking scheme. A casino operator sucks money from the gullible in a legalized mobster operation. Accurate accounting for taxable revenue is highly suspect because the operator could always wine and dine the local tax collector and make a deal.

    That the head of our national gov’t would endorse such parasitic scheme to allegedly raise money for his covid problem is, to say the least, highly suspect.

    • kasambahay says:

      there is so much studies, so much research goes into the presentation of casinos: the bright lights and glittering environment, the ever smiling staff ready to indulge and pamper patrons, the promises of wealth, the music, the live entertainment, the food and drinks that sometimes come at cut price, are all meant to beguile patrons to stay and gamble long into the night. rarely do everyday moms and dads and ordinary citizens on vacation, etc. have ‘pangontra’ vs casinos. and they all got sucked in.

      • JoeAm says:

        I remember my first trip to Vegas with some pals after I moved to Los Angeles. We couldn’t afford a hotel and gambling so committed ourselves to gambling the night away. We had a cheap breakfast at 3 in the morning, a full plate of bacon and eggs and pancakes. Best breakfast and guy-bonding I ever had, a Mexican store clerk, a radio newsman, and a grad student at USC. We were rolling in the aisle with giddy laughter. Vegas is like that. Big fun, some risk. I have no Idea how we got home without crashing. You want to remove that from people’s lives for puritanical values, I’m not aligned with that idea.

        • JoeAm says:

          New Orleans is like that, too, only moreso.

          • kasambahay says:

            good to know you have some fun, joeam.

            though I doubt the people of boracay will have as much fun as you once had in trying to stop duterte building a casino in their midst, for the sole purpose of funding duterte’s covid response. aside from boracay folks, senator binay is also opposed to the building of the casino.

            I reiterate once more, if duterte is serious about obtaining covid funds from casinos, he can always tap into all existing casinos, rather than picking on tiny boracay and making boracay face the main brunt of his covid fund raising effort.

            • kasambahay says:

              as well, it was not for ‘puritanical values’ I was batting for, but for the moms and dads and ordinary citizens on vacation in boracay vs the would be casino designed to entice gambling; the chips are heavily stacked against them.

              • JoeAm says:

                Boracay was hardly a mom and pop shop. It was a top international tourist destination. They didn’t keep the waters clean. Big oopsie.

            • JoeAm says:

              I think the people of Boracay lost the battle when Duterte shut down the island to clean the waters and reconfigure landholdings. Jetski time. “No casino” became casino. I don’t like Duterte or his autocratic bent and I’m surprised that more Filipinos don’t understand he doesn’t care about them. But a casino will make Boracay more attractive to moneyed tourists, I think. Well, if the casino hires Chinese staff, I’d object. So, fun in the sun wins. The local economy wins. Some people lose possibly. The way of capitalism.

              • Micha says:

                Several years back, there had been dispute between the local government of Aklan and the Department of Tourism over who gets jurisdiction on implementing ordinances and management of the island. Being the bigger bully, the DOT prevailed. And then they started granting leases and licenses for malls and big hotels which, lacking water treatment facilities, just dumped their effluent and sewer directly into the beach front..

                Boracay’s main attraction is its white sand beach and supposedly clean waters and the relatively undisturbed coral reef outshore. All that is being diminished by overcrowding. Tourists don’t come there to be able to play in the casino. Tourist traffic had been heavy before covid struck.

                And moneyed tourists don’t necessarily want to play poker and roulette and slot machines. They just want to de-stress and relax in a laid back atmosphere. There’s more charm in swaying coconut trees and nipa huts than a glittering noisy casino. They could always go to Cebu or nearby Iloilo if they want a gambling high..

              • JoeAm says:

                Depends on how the casino owner sells it in China. That’s his market. Or Koreans, who knows. Boracay is certainly harder to get to than Cebu. I think he will bring a new group of fun and sun tourists to Boracay, not appeal to the laid back crowd.

              • kasambahay says:

                drug lords and money launderers would have no problem coming to boracay, they’ll be coming by speedboats, yachts, and even helicopters. clean their dirty money, have meals then vamoose into the horizon, hasta la vista, baby.

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes, I expect so.

    • JoeAm says:

      I tend to see salesmen and politicians doing the same kind of sucking, and businesses, of course, especially monopolists. What is going on in the US right now is a great sucking of values and principles toward sucking as a set of principles. It’s not money being sucked up, put power and principle. Much worse.

  16. NHerrera says:

    On topic — Ayala Alabang Village Association (AAVA) acting as they did on the basis of knowledge and not guesses. I share here what I tweeted a while ago — a tweet in reaction to a retweet by Irineo of an item by AAVA.

    These Chinese tenants at Ayala Alabang Village I believe are emboldened to behave as they do against village rules because of what they see as the PH Administration’s leniency towards them compared to the harsh treatment of Filipinos when they break laws/ rules. Kudos to AAVA!


    I am glad about this righteous backlash from AAVA coming as it does at this time — when the people’s suffering from the pandemic could have been alleviated more if the corrupted public funds involving Chinese connected people went instead to helping counter the pandemic. Hoping the rain of the backlash becomes a humongous deluge.

    • kasambahay says:

      chinese renters in alabang have serious public relation image. if they want to be loved, tolerated, and looked on kindly ng mga taga,alabang, they should do as the locals do. and not make their rented houses into into ‘illegal pogos’.

      for a start, the chinese were allowed to do as they liked, and then things later escalated. I would have thought it’s written in the rental contract: the property to be treated with respect, only certain number of occupants allowed, noise to be kept minimum, no loud parties, pay rent on time and to observe the ‘good neighbor’ clause.

      I say, someone must have been receiving ‘pastillas’, kaya the mainlanders were able to do as they liked and for so long.

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    All the masterplans of Palaflox ends up with masters with no plan to implement the plans.

    Here is his plans for Bora.

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    Speaking of best laid plans of mice is men is to have no plan.

    workers do not work in their city of residence, granulyze that.

    • JoeAm says:

      Granular lockdowns are jail without a trial, handcuffs, or food? If these are poor areas, it seems rather cruel. I’ve not seen any systematized implementation of anything yet. Are they packing food packs already? Did they order them from Yang?

      • Karl Garcia says:

        With the highest daily cases today our leaders are playing it by ear. Our leaders are playing piano in the dark with out even knowing how to wido.

        • kasambahay says:

          congress blamed octa, its data not in sync with doh’s data kuno. and there are labs unable to submit tests results, all the time, every time. kaya, those positives are not notified on time, and able to infect more people in community and in the workplace. mga mayors are now positive too, like the mayor in daanbantayan, cebu.

          there is serious lack in doh and salvana is not helping. roque is to duterte, salvana is to doh, methink.

          if this govt want lockdowns to work, they must be uber quick to grab all the positives and isolate them at once, away from families and communities. the positives to be release only on turning negative. at the moment, the positives are kept with their families kaya nagkahawaan. then families infect neighbors, and so on.

          22k positives in one day is too much. though duterte thanked and honored duque for covid recoveries. duque should also be ‘dishonored’ for those that died of covid.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            They have the gall to pat themselves in the back.
            On twitter it is usekess to argue with DDS whio ays in US has more cases and deaths. GOOD Grief, the pundit even said Duterte is head and shoulders above in terms of leadership …Bleck!

            • kasambahay says:

              how USA handle their own covid problems, is really not concern of ours. they have the bigger bucks and the massive landmass, we dont.

              and just because USA have had higher cases of infection does not mean we have to follow suit. those idiots ni duterte should be given priority granular lockdown, lol! to be release only when sane.

              there is current inquiry about procurement of ppes with foreign pharmally bagging the contract. if it was ex pres noy, he would have gotten ppes from both local and foreign suppliers. on this pandemic times, it would not have mattered to pnoy where ppes come from, he would have readily stockpiled. that’s good housekeeping.

              I find is hard to believe duque did not instruct dept of budget and management to get ppes from any suppliers, competition is good for business. when tapped, both local and foreign suppliers would have done their utmost to meet demand, and we would have more ppes soonest. heaps of them available.

              duque can delegate authority but can never abdicate responsibility. if he does, then he’s just an ordinary indian, not chief medicine man, lol!

    • kasambahay says:

      famous for walking on water, jesus is. he should just up and go. loved the porcelain complexion though.

      • Micha says:

        Seems like sacrilege but the Times photographer Edmund Fountain captured a striking image when hurricane induced flooding hits Louisiana last week. Lots of climate change deniers in the south so maybe, just maybe, that image could change some minds.

        • kasambahay says:

          you are one deep thinker, micha.

          as for jesus, he’d probly say, render the things that are for caesar . . . and my kingdom is not of this world. our fellow commenter here, wills villanueva, has probly some saucy bit of christian wisdom to say, if he’s not too busy.

          ‘when banks go woke, investors go broke’ . . . rebuilding after the flood will be problematic. many climate factors to be considered and incorporated into new building standards and codes. extreme weather fast getting the norm.

          in the meantime, the rev jesse jackson and wife are both fighting covid. no time soon for loaves and fishes.

  19. NHerrera says:

    On the matter of granular lockdown being used in conjunction with the reversion of NCR to GCQ (General Community Quarantine) for the period Sep 8 -30 may someone in TSH help me out — since the topic of the blog is about knowledge.

    At the very least why use the word granular? I saw a picture in a barangay with a watchman seated in an alley or passageway with the poster that says “granular lockdown.” Gee whiz. Why not just the simple phrase local lockdown or area lockdown or in the vernacular “lokal na lakdawn.” Is the phrase granular lockdown meant to be understood by the masses? I hope that Salvana or Galvez understand it themselves.

    Since no reasonable (effective) contact tracing, testing is being done am I so dense to believe that that watchman seated in that passageway is the equivalent of contact tracing and testing?

    Besides the infection is so widespread with a positivity rate at 28% — kalat na — what can local lockdown do. To me, It is like numbering the barangays, throwing a set of dice, and noting what the totals are for the first 10 throws — from which, the corresponding barangays will be granulatedly lockdown.

    The Admin seems to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel for ideas to throw to seem like something useful is being done.

    Help me understand, please. Or I will go crazy.

    • NHerrera says:

      And we have this news.

      Inquirer — Doctors skip hospital duty due to unpaid benefits

      In this regard, will those conducting contact tracing and testing be paid in the context of “granular lockdown”? If not, we just have to make do with that watchman seated in that passageway to do the granular lockdown.

      • NHerrera says:

        Per JoannaPilipinas Tweeter Like:




        • kasambahay says:

          kamot ulo na lang po ako. while our hospitals are running out of space for covid patients, with doctors resigning not only overworked, underpay and un-appreciated as well, bong go keeps on opening malasakit centers, the recent is 138th. pordiba, money seems to be no problem for bong go, limitless yata ang pondo. maybe, he should divert some of that money to where it is needed the most. his malasakits can wait. maliban lang kung he is money laundering in plain sight, in the inscrutable way of the dragon, lol!

          • kasambahay says:

            foreign countries are in need of good doctors, pay is better, accommodation is superb, and doctors’ families are welcome. plus they’d be treated better sa ibang bansa, respected.

    • JoeAm says:

      They don’t understand it, which is why mayors met today to try to figure it out and guidelines have not been released. I think it could work at a barangay or smaller level if barangays had:

      1. Health staff
      2. Ample test kits
      3. Tracing system
      4. Food stocks
      5. Cash aid

      Had this been the program in early 2020, the disease would be well controlled by now. In no way is anyone ready for this.

    • NHerrera says:

      If you are confused about the government’s covid quarantine classifications, here is an Inquirer article that clarifies the confusion. 🙂 At the very least it shows that you are not alone in your confusion.


      Today marks yet another change in community quarantine status for many areas, including Metro Manila, which will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Sept. 8 to 30. This is a lessening of restrictions, at a time when we are garnering record-breaking numbers in daily cases and hospitals at full capacity. What makes things even more uncertain is what this current iteration of GCQ will look like. They have announced that, this time, they will pilot a four-level granular lockdown (oddly enough, without telling us what the four levels are, as of this writing).

      [Bolding, mine.]

      • NHerrera says:

        Quite a relief to me that the government has stopped at only four levels of granular lockdown because there are many sizes of granules not limited to four. 🙂

  20. NHerrera says:

    There is continuing speculation of when and if China will intersect the US in overall power.

    Here is another one from Minxin Pei posted in The Economist. It may not be considered as factful or knowledgeful — more of an opinion based partly on soft facts but has elements one may share and the author tries to present two sides of the coin.

  21. NHerrera says:

    We may already be numbed of this kind of news, but here it is.

    3 in 4 COVID-19 infections now caused by Delta variant – DOH

    PH logs new daily COVID-19 case record at 22,415; health execs expecting number of sick to increase as highly transmissible variant detected in 15 of 17 regions .

    Can Salvana and Galvez spin us out of this news? Wanted: better spinners. Tired of the old ones.

    • kasambahay says:

      por dyos, por santo, nherrera! dont tempt duterte to hire anymore spinners. or he’ll go after octa again and again.

      the catcaller duo of salvana and galvez, are getting quite predictable that people cringe just by the mere mention of their names, lol!

      and now that duterte is opening our borders to international travel just when we are having delta surge, that is if international travelers are so stupid to come now and not later when delta is well and truly minimized, we could well and truly expect foreign travelers getting delta from local transmission.

      then, our hospitals who are already overburdened with covid patients would just have to chuck out those patients already being treated in ICU, to make way for sick foreign travelers. I hope the foreigners have brought their own oxygen tanks with them!

      • NHerrera says:

        I hope too that the foreigners “look before they leap” — for their sakes and ours. Unless they are the Trumpish anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers kind. Then woe unto them and unto us. I believe as you do that when the worse happens to them that hospital rooms, already at near or full capacity, in the better PH hospitals may be made for them.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          At least they delayed the granukar lockdoen till the 15th or until they finalized on who gets lockeddown ..
          This is as worse as it gets.

          • NHerrera says:

            Maybe they are still checking with Miriam Webster what “granular” means. And the many types and sizes of granules.

            Karl, here is another item. I have to offer some sort of apology to the Admin. They know their math after all. I read from Galvez today that we have reached 52% of the target vaccination in NCR. Notice the beauty of that. Quite a reasonably high number that 52% is. But that refers to the target of 70%. So NCR achieved 36.4% vaccination (= 52%*70%). The confused masa reads 52% but no reference to the target 70% — which is low in the first place because of the Delta Variant and now Admin has increased the target to 80%-90%.

            Conclusion — Admin is after all very creative in its use of math. Instead of saying vaccination reached 36.4%, it announces we have reached 52% of target (leaving the target hidden from view, you have to google to find out). Creative, right?

  22. NHerrera says:


    A picture of the sculpture of 1968 TOYM Awardee, Imao (TOYM = PH Ten Outstanding Young Men) taken from a tweet:

    Butch Dalisay@penmanila

    A beautiful and powerful new sculpture by Toym Imao—Our Lady of BRP Sierra Madre, our protector against Chinese aggression in the WPS.

    To which mlq3 tweeted in reply — Well, no subtlety required…

    • kasambahay says:

      aesthetic aside, why is the lady and the dragon of the same height like they’re equal? one wrong move and they’d both neutralise each other.

      different had the lady had the dragon’s head on headlock. it’s easy kasi to get out of an armlock as in judo. to be truly symbolic, the lady ought to be holding her crown aloft, higher than the dragon’s head. like I’ve subdued this dragon and I’m qualified, and I got a trophy to prove it, see?

      from a woman’s perspective: we take no prisoner, lol! nice piece of work though.

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