Where to get your Black T-Shirt in case you want to wear one or wipe your ass with it.
Details on the upcoming Black Friday Protest Movement activity.
In today’s news:
Economist Ciel Habito’s account of how signatures are being gathered for Charter Change (and a photo of a Barangay assembly banner). Malaya reports, Cha-cha campaign shifts to People’s Initiative. In Mindanews, Patricio Diaz says forget about a timetable, it’s better for the Palace to keep everybody guessing. Palace seeks middle ground on Charter change impasse.
Yesterday, as he was giving a press briefing, Sec. Mike Defensor was startled when the Malacañan Palace sign behind him fell off the wall. Immediate response of those who saw it, live or on TV: ominous.
So which is it? Hagedorn out: All systems go for Small Town Lottery to kill ‘jueteng’ says the Inquirer; Palace Explains freeze on lottery says the Manila Times; Local lotteries to be allowed, eventually, says Manila Standard-Today.
Congressmen restore P70-M pork barrel
Senga warns of more coup attempts by Left, Right, rebels
Expect higher palay and corn production due to La Niña
In the Nation of Thailand, Suthichai Yoon says of Premier Thaksin, Don’t listen to his words, just read his trembling lips: He means “yes” when he says “no”. When he says: “Trust me, I am telling you the truth”, that’s when you should reach for a lie detector.
In the punditocracy, my column for today is Reconciliation.
Gail Ilagan says its clownish for the opposition to demand to talk to the troops. I agree.
Tony Abaya points out the built-in futility of the political alliances that have formed in the opposition -and what would happen if they won.
Manuel Buencamino wonders why some witnesses are more credible than others.
The Inquirer editorial comments on witness-snatching.
Catch S.G. Austero tonight on Ricky Carandang’s show, “The big Picture,” on ANC at 9 p.m (Ricky might be in a bad mood because of Juan Mercado’s column today, though). Incidentally, I really, really, liked this entry by Bong Austero. He has a four-point recommendation which is great:
I think that first, we should get commitment from everyone – and I mean everyone – pro or anti, leftist or rightist, opposition or government – to respect democratic processes. No more extra constitutional solutions. No more coups. No more conspiracies to topple the government through extra-constitutional means. No more arrests without warrants.
Second, I think it is time to bring the discussion to the level of what is “the common good.” We can disagree on how to get there, we can disagree on what is the right course of action, but we should all focus on a more strategic goal – a better country in say, three or four year’s time…
Third and necessarily, I think that it is time to come to the table with a little more sincerity. I ranted about vested interests and selfish intentions in that letter. It is time to come clean and this is only possible in an environment that is free from moralizing and judging. For example, let us stop obfuscating about whether there was a conspiracy or an attempted coup last February because as the no-nonsense Professor Solita Monsod said on public television: meron talaga coup! And since the threats to stability has been reduced and it has been proven that the people are not wont to support such moves anyway, it is best for government to come clean now, rectify the mistakes, and stop all this senseless posturing.
Fourth, it is time for ordinary Filipinos to take the discussion and the crafting of the solution out of the hands of the politicians. For crying out loud, who actually listens to them? I know I reach for the remote control everytime someone of their ilk comes on television.
This is the sort of thing that helps push forward the idea that there remains more to unite us than divides us (if you look beyond the President). The difficulty though, is that it requires everyone’s cooperation (what happens, for example, if the arrests without warrants don’t cease? obviously, more of the kind of protests that drive those who disagree with them, nuts).
A couple of blog entries also worth devoting some quality reading time to. the first is by Big Mango, who starts with a review of “V for Vendetta” and suggests what we need is to seriously reconsider the existing structures of our country. In a sense, thought not always when it comes to particulars, we see eye to eye on this. My personal frustration with what’s going on now, is that the present administration is like an accident victim on life support, with everyone desperately trying to postpone the decision on when to pull the plug. It does neither the patient, potential recipients of organs, or the family, any good.
The necessary and urgent changes are being postponed. A proper debate as to what those changes should be -though I think in many ways, there is actually a kind of consensus on what those changes should be, the difficult part is the speed and extent to adopt- can’t take place because it’s hopelessly muddled by the frantic desire to keep the patient artificially alive. The result is an artificial and unhealthy disconnect between those already moving forward in the provinces, and those reduced to trench warfare in Metro Manila. That patient, of course, is the President, and postponing the pulling of the plug is all that’s been accomplished by her in the past months. In fact, Big Mango’s thoughts have a lot in common with those expressed by Bong Austero.
Carlos Celdran thoughtfully responds to Howie Severino’s thoughts on Filipino and English. The problem is really quite complicated and requires a rethinking of existing language policy, such as it is. In the first place, existing Philippine languages are either dying out, or are being displaced by Filipino; on the other hand, English is becoming far more of an elite language than at any other time previously. Both Filipino and English are also in danger of ceasing to be living languages, in that neither are fully stepping up to the plate as being vehicles for intellectual discourse -or if it is, it’s only serving this purpose among a dwindling few. Of course these statements are, to a certain extent, generalizations, but it should be of concern in a country which has high levels of literacy but which might not have such a high level of functional literacy. Carlos Celdran says we should promote bilingualism; I agree; a further effort should be made to bring back the original goal, long since lost and perverted, when a national language was proposed and adopted: trilingualism, competency in one’s native language, the national language, and a foreign language. The mistake of the past two generations has been to displace English with Filipino; and now, displacing other Philippine languages with Filipino, too. Is the solution abolishing Filipino? I doubt it. It is integrating Filipino in the teaching of English, and other Philippine languages in teaching Filipino and English -and diverting some of our meager government resources into making all these languages truly living ones (I would even go as far as supporting an already moderate proposal, considering how emotional the language debate becomes, to require Tagalogs to learn a non-Tagalog Philippine language, since non-Tagalogs have to learn Filipino which is basically Metro Manila Tagalog).
Two readings from the Philippines Free Press Online: And the January 30 Insurrection by Pete Lacaba (republished in his book, Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage), and The Long Week, by Kerima Polotan, both from 1970, about the First Quarter Storm. Many of the figures and institutions in the articles are still familiar to present-day readers. Lacaba takes a sympathetic, even romantic, view of the protesters; Polotan casts a skeptical glare at everyone and everything. Incidentally, both writers would incur Marcos’s ire during martial law: Lacaba was imprisoned, and Polotan had to go into exile for writing a biography of Mrs. Marcos that displeased the Palace.
blog@AWBHoldings.com tackles Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and the Social Contract.
This, I didn’t notice: Philippine Politics 04 points to People Power in Belarus.
This, I found startling: Torn & Frayed says the Brits have very little national pride.
baratillo books cinema@cubao poetizes about Dinky.
And this, I just found funny (by captainaqua):