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Oct 24

Cheerleader festival at Manila Hotel

What the public thinks of the Supreme Court is bannered by the Inquirer and the Business Mirror: six out of ten Filipinos, according to the Social Weather Stations, are “unsure” whether the supremes will rule fairly on the so-called “people’s initiative.” See the actual survey results here and elaborated, with background, in the PCIJ blog. Among the results:

Majority across all areas are unsure whether the Supreme Court will be fair in its decision: 69% in Metro Manila, 64% in Mindanao, 61% in the rest of Luzon, and 58% in the Visayas.

All socio-economic classes are likewise largely unsure: 60% in classes ABC, 62% in class D, and 63% in class E.

Two out of five (41%) Filipinos follow the news on the “citizen’s initiative” or signature campaign in favor of certain amendments in the Constitution, either very closely (14%) or somewhat closely (27%). About half 48% pay little attention, while 11% heard of the news only during the poll [Table 2].

Half (51%) in Metro Manila keep close track of the news on the people’s initiative, 43% in the rest of Luzon, 41% in Mindanao, and 29% in the Visayas.

More of the class ABC (47%) and class D (42%) closely follow the reports on the people’s initiative compared to class E (35%).

Residents farther from the metro tend to be unaware of the news: 21% in Visayas and 14% in Mindanao heard of it only during the survey, compared to 8% in the balance of Luzon and 2% in Metro Manila.

The Inquirer editorial speaks up for the supremes and tells everyone to shut up.

To town have streamed 1,500 members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines who are poised to present a well-rehearsed “spontaneous manifestation” of support for Charter change (official conventions of this sort reminds me of a recent entry in A Nagueño in the Blogosphere on happy barangay chairmen and their allowances). The article on the Manila Hotel cheerleader festival also presents the latest twist in the a rehash of the Palace’s legal thinking:

Thus, Villanueva and Castillo said, the case of Santiago vs. Commission on Elections, which stated that RA 6735 was inadequate as an enabling law to cover the people’s initiative to amend the Constitution, cannot be considered a judicial doctrine because no majority vote was reached by the justices in their final voting on the issue.

Villanueva noted that in the reconsideration and final ruling on the case, the court was deadlocked, with six justices agreeing that RA 6735 was inadequate as a standard to cover a people’s initiative on constitutional amendments; six others voting otherwise; one abstaining; and two inhibiting themselves from the proceedings.

Moreover, Castillo said that Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution, which covers the people’s initiative, is “essentially self-executory, save for the budget and other procedural election matters.”

No implementing statute and rules and regulations are required to create the right of initiative, they added.

Speaking of legal thinking, Newsbreak summarizes the views concerning whether a distinction between amendments and revisions of the Constitution exists. The whole problem, I think, is that the administration has proposals joined at the hip, if not at the head: parliament-unicameral. Parliament is a revision, as it totally and drastically changes the entire form of government; unicameral would have been an amendment.

The Palace insists there will be elections next year, sniping from the bleachers to the contrary, but if you read the official statements closely, the stage is already being set for what Dong Puno’s laying the groundwork for in his column: at the very least, electoral postponement from May to November (personally I’ve always preferred November elections as used to be traditional, with terms to begin on Rizal Day, but anyway….) A group of public school teachers threatens to boycott participating in a plebiscite.

Newsbreak also takes a look at the President and the role of religion in her politics.

Here’s some interesting news and views on the economy. We’re running out of IT professionals: there’s a shortage of 1,300 this year, and it may go up to 2,400 by 2009. The government’s due to sell its remaining stake in Philippine Airlines. Raul Valino discusses how Ford Philippines is actually exporting cars and wonders why other car firms aren’t following suit. John Mangun says the economy’s coming up roses. He’s particularly bullish on the stock market:

Let me say for the thousandth time, stock-market prices do not reflect an opinion on administration actions. Yes, you might see some reaction to government in very short-term movements. However, long-term money flows into investments directed by a profit motive based on dozens of other more important factors than government.

In spite of political chaos at times, high oil prices and a variety of other negatives, stock prices are up 30 percent in the last 12 months. Half of that increase is the reaction to ongoing corporate profits of listed companies. The other half is the firm belief that the trend of corporate moneymaking is going to continue well into the future.

Foreign investment in the stock market is strong and rising. That tells us that this very unpredictable and, sometimes, unreliable investment money believes there is financial, not necessarily political, stability in the Philippines. That means a stable currency, stable interest rates and stable corporate profitability.

A friend in the motorcycle industry, though, tells me sales are down for the fourth quarter in a row, nation-wide and industry-wide. It seems what’s scary for the motorcycle industry is the possibility that the market’s reached it’s limit, which doesn’t speak well of the size of our economy.

Overseas, Gwynn Dyer says there’s no longer any good exit strategy from Iraq. Former president Choi Kyu-hah of South Korea dies, having maintained a firm silence on his official actions. The Nation of Thailand says Thaksin’s scheming for a comeback. The Panama Canal is to be widened at long last.

In the blogosphere, RG Cruz recounts the President welcoming the Thai Prime Minister. The Bunker Chronicles explains his objections to the parliamentary system. An OFW in Hong Kong is outraged over the thought of cancelled elections.

The Warrior Lawyer on Pfizer’s bullying of the Philippine government; and Confessions at 7:00 PM on the Judicial and Bar Council.

A gaggle of cultural observations, beginning with Coconuter who made it to a TV show. He also penned a fragmentary essay full of astute observations, from which here are some snippets:

I said earlier that I was feeding 8 mouths (including myself) during my first month here. These were some of my Filipino relatives. Some Filipinos base their liking of you depending upon your “nakikisama” qualities or how well you get along or mix in with them. Unfortunately this can sometimes be affected by money, especially if you live with them. In my case, it was difficult for my relatives to accept that despite coming from the US, I am not rich nor am I being supported by my parents. And once I stopped providing money for my relatives, “hindi na ako marunong makisama,” or in other words I no longer knew how to get along or mix in. And so this convinced me to live off on my own…

…This leads me to the “sakit ng mga Pilipino” or the sickness of the Filipino. It happens all over the world but is quite prominent in the Philippines. I am talking about theft. Any Filipino can attest to how rampant this crime is here. I once heard a 7 year old Filipino boy chant “Ang lahi ng mga Pilipino ay magnanakaw,” or the bloodline of Filipinos are thieves. I’ve also overheard a policeman talking about killing a certain thief to end his bloodline so he cannot reproduce and pass it on. My first experience was when the house was broken into by three thieves who ate and bagged a week’s worth of my food… Even my dog, which I got to battle theft, was stolen. People will even use the faucets outside to gather jugs of water if I am gone for very long. Fortunately, now-a-days my two dogs are pretty alert and do a good job of keeping passerby’s away.

…The harsh socioeconomic circumstances has everyone looking out only for their own interests and creating two categories for individuals. An old Filipino man once told me that there are only two types of Filipinos, “ang manloloko at ang naloloko” or the ones who fool and the ones who are fooled. One could say that in any transaction there is no such thing as a fair deal; someone is always going to be better off after a trade. In the Philippines, however, (also in other parts of the world) many people are hunting to take advantage of another. Vendors try to fool me everytime I go to the “palengke” or wet market. Fortunately, I now know the fair prices for most of the goods I purchase. It seems it has become second nature to utilizing deception, the ignorance of the customer, and psychology to gain the upper hand. Ironically, that same old man talked me in to buying his over-priced dog.

….Increased liberty is also something I gained here in provincial Philippines. In the U.S., and other modernized areas you cannot escape the “tracking device” of the government, things like taxes and other bills are always on your tail, and your job eats up the majority of your life. In provincial Philippines (and perhaps other provincial areas), there is no “tracking device” and you only need to pay for your own necessities. It’s also cheaper to live in the Philippines compared in other countries, but wages are also lower in the Philippines. There also exists a lack of job opportunities. But for the lower jobs that are available, there is a work concept that is quite appealing and is commonly found in provincial Philippines. It is the “work when you need money” and “relax when you want to” concept. It is more like doing temporary contract or project-type work and is done in spurts. The pressure of a continuous job is taken away in this concept. Many others of course wish for this continuous money-job and go into the city or abroad to find that opportunity…

Peryodistang Pinay weighs in with something I sympathize with, heartily: irritation over noise pollution. ExpectoRants wonders if copper is the new gold and aluminum the new silver. Witness Lane eloquently explains why he’s not going to be doing any writing for some time. i’m a devil in haste is rather despondent over writing critiques from friends. Fabulous and You Know It is disillusioned with her school’s championship-winning basketball team.

And here’s a blog to add to your links: Nostalgia Manila.

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  1. DJB

    The opposite conclusion, that 60% of Filipinos are UNSURE that the Supreme Court will be UNFAIR in rendering its decision on People’s Initiative is also logically and statistically supported by the data collected by the Ibon Survey. That is because one naturally expects the majority of any statistically random survey to be in between the posited extremes of “much trust” and “little trust”. The survey question is AMBIGUOUS but the headline takes the benefit of the doubt to proclaim the desired result. I think it is unethical for newspapers and pollsters to proclaim pseudoscientific results based on flawed question design. And we are fools to swallow it hook line and sinker. This is just statistics in the service of politics. It is meaningless and disgusting.

    And what will they say I wonder if and when the Supreme Court rules they way they, we, want?

    Just because they have a plus or minus 3 percent margin of error in the answers, doesn’t mean they can’t get F Minus for flawed Statistical question design! Just look at it. It plays the Vast Middle of “unsure” against the Radical Extremes of “much trust” and “little trust”. The answer desired is built into the very statistics of the Bell Curve.

  2. hvrds

    Separating the different levels of economic development.

    Robert Schiller an economist from Yale who coined the phrase “irrational exhuberance” for Alan Greenspan in a recent piece has reminded unions in the U.S. that they have to learn how to adjust their demands to the realities of this new age of financial capitalism.

    The major industrial economies are in that stage of development. Anticipatory economics. Values are created based on future projections of profits. Stock markets are the supermarket of dreams.

    John Mangun’s piece is typical of the white man’s perspective of a neo-colonial economy.. However in the case of the Philippine economy the stock market has very limited links with the realities of the Philippine economy. It is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Citigroups currency trading volume per year is $8 trillion. The nominal value of the formal Philippine economy is $100 billion per anum. Portfolio investments have a shelf life of two weeks to a month. They simply invest profit and then leave and come right back in again. You actually do not have to put in any money for two weeks on your bets on margin provided you have a solid line of credit. Simply bet on more consumption and profts for existing companies.

    Peter Drucker said that this era of finance capitalism is pretty much man going where no man has gone before. (My description) Drucker simply stated that there is no model to go by for this phenomena of surplus capital having no use in the productive sectors of the world economy. Hence values are no longer created by accumulation but by speculation. Notional values for this derivative economics are in the $300+ trrllion level. No physical good is created.

    Now the fun starts when finance capital builts up asset valuations in a domestic economy (asset inflation or bubbles) and the marginal investment leveraging crashes. You only confirm it was a bubble after it crashes.

    The local financail markets are benefiting from the massive hoard of $3 trillion dollars in Asian Central banks plus the hoard that the Middle East oil producers are saving and not spending. It is all going to the world financial markets composed of the equity, bond, commodity and real estate markets of the world. All based on anticipatory profits.

    The iron rule of economic investing still stands. No economic investment has occurred unless a capital good is created. From the records of the Philippine government capital formation in the Philippine economy has been dropping for the last almost two years. Consumption makes up for 86% of GDP. For a country with a real per capita of $700+. That is a recipe for a major crisis down the road.

    A pioece by forme sheif economist of the IMF – Rogoff
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff20

  3. monk_x

    Regarding the “latest twist in the Palace’s legal thinking” – sorry but Raul Lambino has been saying this for months even before they filed their petition with the COMELEC. They argued this before the Supreme Court and if the news reports are accurate, the Justices disagreed with this view. There was a decision in the Santiago case because the motion for reconsideration was denied. Santiago is therefore doctrine.

  4. hvrds

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/21/AR2006102100819.html

    Iraq and the Philippines so many similarities. The Philippines work in progress state controlled by a seemingly anarchy of landed families.
    Is there a “We the people of the Philippines? Are the majority of Filipinos vested in the fruits of the country’s resources?

    “What are 140,000 U.S. forces achieving in Iraq that could not be achieved by 40,000?”

    · If the answer to the first question is “creating Iraqi security forces,” a second question is: Is there an Iraqi government? In “State of Denial,” Bob Woodward quotes Colin Powell, after leaving the administration, telling the president that strengthening Iraq’s military and police forces is crucial but that “if you don’t have a government that you can connect these forces to, then, Mr. President, you’re not building up forces, you’re building up militias.” And making matters worse.

    · Third, what limits on U.S. aims are set by the character of the Iraqi people, as we now understand that? Bing West, a former Marine who frequently visits and writes about Iraq, wrote in the October issue of the Atlantic Monthly about accompanying coalition forces that seized an oil pumping station near Basra in March 2003:

    “The engineers were appalled to find open cesspools, rusted valves, sputtering turbines, and other vital equipment deteriorating into junk. Heaps of garbage lay outside the walls of nearby houses. Yet inside the courtyards, tiny patches of grass were as well tended as putting greens. That defined Iraq: a generation of tyrannical greed had taught Iraqis to look out for their own, to enrich their families, and to avoid any communal activity that attracted attention.”

  5. monk_x

    I found a report on the point I was making earlier:

    “The justices Tuesday countered the petitioners’ claim that the SC’s Santiago ruling did not carry a majority decision, and that it is still worth revisiting.

    “It is not correct to say that there is no majority decision because the motion for reconsideration is lost in a tie vote,” Associate Justice Leonardo Quisumbing pointed out to former SC justice Jose Pardo, who argued on behalf of Charter change advocates.

    Associate Justice Romeo Callejo Sr. said the insistence of petitioners to revisit the Santiago decision is “a collateral attack” against the High Court.

    “The SC decision in Santiago has become final and executory, and asking the court to review its decision is a collateral attack,” he said.”

    This is from Sun Star: http://sunstar.com.ph/static/net/2006/09/27/sc.may.dash.sigaw.bid.on.people.s.initiative.html

  6. DJB

    People have lost sight of the fact that every survey involves the making of a generalization about the entire Filipino people.

    The privilege of making such a generalization must be won by the strict and professional application of fairly well known principles of question design, random sampling and data acquisition. Nothing arcane about it.

    Usually the pseudoscientific transgreesions by SWS and Pulse Asia involve incorrect interpretations involving margin of error and uncertainty. But in this case it is an invalid question design.

    Ideally, survey questions should be answerable with a yes or no, or a clear choice between TWO mutually exclusive answers. Otherwise the validity of the LEAP to generalization is in doubt. It is an old trick Ibon employs, and though most people are fooled, not all of us are ignorant idiots when it comes to statistics and surveys.

  7. DJB

    Correction: that was an SWS survey, not IBON. The survey question is just as invalid. Things are way worse than I thought! Then again, SWS is the outfit that got the NCR Exit Poll wrong in 2004–a statistical improbability if there ever was one.

  8. mlq3

    thanks for the correction, monk. so it’s just the reiteration of a propaganda line or helping to write the decision, or the groundwork for an appeal.

  9. mlq3

    djb, the survey tells me public opinion is: dunno, we’ll wait and see.

  10. DJB

    hvrds,
    America found much the same thing here as they did in Iraq. American racists also made arguments AGAINST imperialism based on the “limits set by the character of the inhabitants of the Philippine Islands” — Why, they cried in isolationist fury, should we try to impose our civilization on those who cannot appreciate or even want it?

    They found open cesspools and heaps of garbage here too, in 1898, then for some inexplicable imperialist reason set about the task of creating some image of herself in these benighted lands.

    There was perhaps no evident altruism in the decision to come here, to defeat Spain and conquer the indios. But there was something in the fact that they stayed for so long.

    Iraq would be so lucky now if she could just become a second Philippines.

  11. hvrds

    On Iraq becoming a second Philippines? Not very likely. They have too much oil and the Americans and Europe will make that place the line in the sand versus the oncoming rapid industrialization of India and China. The last of the easy to get to oil is Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Are dollars priced in oil or is oil priced in dollars?

    http://alternet.org/story/43045/

    As for the Philippines, it is a forward commercial and military base in S.E. Asia, the U.S. projection of power in Asia necessary to secure markets and resources for the already mature U.S. economy.

    The U.S. will force China & India to open their markets by making sure that the oil that they need will be controlled by the U.S. and Europe.

    The most important commodities in the world – easy to get to oil -will soon come under the total control of the U.S.

    Please note that the business of America is profit. The U.S. transnational corporations need access to markets and resources to keep the future financial market valuations from collapsing.

    In the year 2000 the U.S. Congress failed to pass the International Monetary Stability Act of 2000 which would make sure countries that adopted the U.S. dollar as their currency would share in the seignorage gains. The late Rudi Dornbusch and Steve Hanke (both financial economists) have already recommended that emerging markets simply dollarize their economies and forget about sovereignty. In other words outsource their monetary policy to the U.S. Federal Reserve. That is what the Millernium Challenge Account is all about. Go back to free banking however with the dollar as the reserve currency. That means governments are not allowed to run budget deficits.

    We are on the road to doing that. One question though keeps coming up? What happens to the social contract between the people and their government. Can we outsource this to a supranational state? What about an international court system? WTO is for corporations. Why are rules in the U.S. and Europe very strict for everyone but outside their boudaries they want non-government interference for their businesses?

    “It is equally important to address bank secrecy, which facilitates corruption by providing corrupt dictators with a safe haven for their funds. In August 2001, just before the terrorist attacks on America, the US government vetoed an OECD effort to limit secret bank accounts. While the government has since reversed its stance on bank secrecy for terrorists, it has not done so for corrupt officials.” Joseph Stiglitz on “Corrupting the Fight Against Corruption”

    From Runnymede to the Civil Rights Act of 1998 plus all the Laws on Financial regulation in the U.S. ex. (Glass Steagle to Sarbanes Oxley) took centuries and was a reaction to historical circumstances. Yet emerging countries are being told to strengthen their instituions within the next few years. The U.S. government can stop a madman from North Korea from having access to finance but the drug lords, slave traders, smugglers and corrupt officials are protected by the code of profit first and are considered businessmen.

    Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has managed to do in China what nobody on Wall Street has done anywhere: earn almost $4 billion from a six-month-old investment.
    That, at least, is the profit so far on the $2.6 billion Goldman put up for about 5 percent of Beijing-based Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. ICBC’s record initial public offering now values the nation’s largest bank at $129 billion.
    While Goldman and investors in its private equity funds are prohibited from selling their ICBC shares for three years, the gain of $3.9 billion would be the biggest for New York-based Goldman on any trade since it was founded in 1869, according to people with knowledge of Goldman’s investments.
    The ICBC grubstake is “a move that Goldman wouldn’t have made in the old days because it didn’t have the interest or the experience or the capital or the nerve to make those kinds of investments,” said Roy Smith, a finance professor at New York University in Manhattan, who ran Goldman’s London office in the 1980s.
    The China bonanza is the result of more than 70 visits by former Goldman Chief Executive Officer Henry M. Paulson Jr., who became the 74th U.S. Treasury Secretary last June. Goldman is poised to earn more fees than its global competitors in the world’s most-populous country because it is the only foreign securities firm allowed to both trade stocks for brokerage clients and arrange share sales for companies.

  12. DJB

    hvrds,
    the single transcendental fact is that the world economy is a single complex but highly interconnected machine that cannot really suffer a major dislocation in one region without global effects. And capitalism, which you deride as an economy based on profit, is the operating system of that machine. The US is not so dominant in that world of money and competition, despite military superiority, because her own prosperity is NOT built around military subjugation of other nations.

    But I do wonder what America will finally do with Iraq, which I will at least grant you is near the fuel tanks of the Great Machine of the World.

    My wager, and my hope, is that America will see its long term historical responsibility to rehabilitate and secure Iraq, owing not least, to the human tragedies that have been visited upon Iraq by virtue of that self-same Jackson Principle that I mentioned.

    America must stay in Iraq as long as it stayed in the Philippines, or “until victory is won” — of which perhaps even George W Bush did not see the full dimensions of the awesome task ahead.

    Or they can cut and run like some people want but THAT would be the greatest disaster of all.

    No sir! Even a lone superpower has rights AND duties.

  13. Carl

    Coconuter’s observations are not very flattering to us as a people. However, I must admit there is validity to many of them, especially when he quotes our very own “kababayans” making critical comments about their fellow citizens. I guess that, at some exasperating moment or another, we all feel that way, too.

    I guess that, after getting “acclimatized”, Coconuter has learned to keep his cool and take everything in stride, just like everyone does. Just as hvrds comments on the idiosyncrasies that puzzle foreigners about Iraq, we also have our own peculiarities that are not that easy to understand. For example, despite what Coconuter quotes as the “sakit ng mga Pilipino” – stealing, it is amazing that a strict code of honesty is followed between bet-takers and bettors in the sordid sport of cockfighting.

    Even our stock market has its oddities. Regulatory safeguards are almost fictional, while insider trading is the norm and economic fundamentals are nonexistent. Our stock market marches to the beat of its own drummer, as hvrds points out: “ . . . in the case of the Philippine economy the stock market has very limited links with the realities of the Philippine economy”. It’s worse than a crapshoot, unless you’re fortunate enough to have friends in high places who know things most people don’t know. Imelda Marcos’ immortal words ring true in the Wild West of Philippine financial markets: “Some are smarter than others” . . . if you have the right connections.

  14. Joselu

    It’s just all a plain & simple veiled pressure on the SC the SWS survey.
    just like the teachers group who are making their stand already not to participate in a plebicite.
    What a decadent society. Lahat na lang pinapatulan.
    I can only hope that the SC decision will put an end to the debate & help the country move on.
    At least the palace is diplomatic enough to come out w/ a statement saying they will respect what the SC will say.
    Hope I can hear that too from those opposing change.
    It’s just hard to beleave that any law can be so rigid particularly when there is a need for change & to evolve & a systematic change to take place.

  15. Chabeli

    Reading the article on Newsbreak which “takes a look at the President and the role of religion in her politics”, I couldn’t help but ask whether Gloria and the rest of the Catholics in the Philippines pray to the same God. I find it difficult to believe what Ed Ermita said, that “The President thinks her actions are guided by God.” Actually, I found it appalling. From where I sit, Gloria is Satan’s cohort than from God. Gloria is nothing short of evil. From what I know, God does NOT love ANYTHING evil.

  16. DJB

    mlq3, more on that sws survey. it’s impt as an example of an ILL-POSED question that does not belong in a statistical survey.

    Let me argue by example…

    Suppose that a famous person, like Madonna gets pregnant.

    SWS then asks the question: Do you have much trust, are unsure, or have little trust that Madonna will give birth to a baby girl.

    You will agree that most people are going to answer UNSURE to this simple question, right? (Let’s say 90%).

    But if the SWS then makes a headline and reports that 90% of the people are unsure that Madonna will give birth to a baby girl, there would be something wrong with that, even if technically it is a valid conclusion from the data. Strange thing is, the exact OPPOSITE is also a valid conclusion: 90% of the people are unsure that Madonna will give birth to a baby boy.

    The solution to the logical dilemma is of course that most people are simply unsure of what sex the baby of Madonna will be.

    In exactly the same way, it was wrong for SWS and the newspapers to say that “60% of Filipinos are unsure whether the Supreme Court will render a fair judgment on PI” because it is also true that 60% are unsure it will be unfair. As you said, the real message is simply that people don’t know how the SC will rule. It has nothing to do with how fair they think the Court will be.

    Tricky, tricky, tricky! But it’s time to watch the explainer…

  17. monk_x

    Without suggesting that the SWS is flawless, it still amazing how Arroyo’s allies are now complaining about the survey as “just part of a campaign to pressure SC justices to throw out the petition for a people’s initiative to amend the 1987 Charter.” Arroyo and her allies have been pressuring the Court in less subtle ways over the last few days. Arroyo, de Venecia, ULAP have been producing torrents of statements suggesting that the a pro-initiative decision by the Supreme Court is the country’s last hope. All we have to do is click on the Inquirer’s Charter Change link to see the administration’s own attempts at influencing the Court’s decision.

  18. UP student

    hvrds, before I say that you get off on a tangent sometimes, what’s your basis for saying “… outsource their monetary policy to the U.S. Federal Reserve. That is what the Millernium Challenge Account is all about. Go back to free banking however with the dollar as the reserve currency.”

    DJB… there is no further need for the US to be in Iraq. Iraqi insurgency is 5% of the turmoil, the rest is Iraqi-on-Iraqi bloodletting. US soldiers are not intended to fight one Iraqi group for the benefit of another.
    [In contrast, the Filipinos of the 1930’s/40’s were all coalescing around the idea of one nation, so the US to be in the Philippines for nation-building (and imperialism) made sense.]

    cvj, Japan rolled across the Philippines in the opening days of World War II, not because US soldiers were here, but because our 7,100 islands were part of the (imaginary) highway from Japan through Singapore/Indonesia to Australia.

  19. UP student

    hvrds, your sentence “…The iron rule of economic investing still stands. No economic investment has occurred unless a capital good is created” is not an iron-rule in light of the importance of velocity. Even Mainland China has abandoned the concept of “command economy” and the focus on smokestack industries.
    In my book, the phenomenon worthwhile studying in regards wealth-creation is knowledge-building (to include entertainment). The ancillary concept is intellectual-property-rights.

  20. cvj

    UP Student, if the US forces were not stationed here, we would have been spared the initial wave of bombings (e.g. of American Air Bases in Sangley point) and the subsequent destruction of Manila during the liberation. It would have been likely that the Japanese, just like MacArthur, would have figured out a ‘leap frog’ strategy to get to Australia directly. An independent Philippine government would also conceivably have declared its neutrality.

  21. justice league

    Sory CVJ but I agree with UPS.

    THe Japanese would have “eventually” come over here anyway whether a “Filipino” government declared as neutral.

    The Japanese Armed forces saw the need to take out the naval and air presence of America in Pearl Harbor. So they would have done so whether USAFFE were not here.

    But the fact that USAFFE was here forced the Japs to invest time, men, resources, etc. in overcoming our archipelago.

    With out that necessity, Australia, Alaska, Pearl Harbor, American West coast, Canada, or parts thereof could have been subjected to an early threat or even outright invasion specially if they leap frogged a Philippines who would pose no threat.

    Canada, Australia, U.S.A. would have provided less help to Britain and Russia against Germany.

    Who knows, without the constant air raids by Britain with American help, Germany might have beaten America for the race for the atomic bomb. And despite those air raids; Germany succeeded in developing the first jet fighter.

    A further outlook from that scenario is already too depressing to contemplate.

  22. supremo

    cvj,

    Thailand was neutral during WWII but was occupied by the Japanese. It is also widely known that Japanese engineers were already in the Philippines during the closing years of Spanish rule. They were making maps which they eventually used during WWII. Also, The Japanese navy already controlled Rabaul in the South Pacific before WWII. They could have gone straight to Australia from there but invaded the Philippines and the Malayan Peninsula to be sure that no one will outflank them. The Philippines would have been spared the initial bombings but not the invasion if only MacArthur bomb Formosa first after getting the news that Pearl Harbor was attacked. Fog in Formosa delayed the bombing of American military installations. When the fog cleared the Americans were already having lunch.

  23. cvj

    Justice League, i’m not sure if i’m able to follow you. You mention in the second sentence that along with UP Student, you believe that the Japanese would have come here with or without the American presence. However, the rest of your comment describes how the Japanese were forced to invest time over here because of the presence of the USAFFE – which seems in line with what i said.

    My point is that the Philippines would not have suffered as much in World War 2 if it were not for the American presence. As for the entire war effort, i don’t think our role was that pivotal. Australia may have fallen, but the Battle of Midway would still have destroyed Japan’s offensive capability. The Soviets were the real decisive force in the War by taking up the bulk of the German war effort. Hitler scared off enough of its Jewish scientists to give the US the decisive edge in the race for the Atom Bomb. So with or without the Filipinos’ sacrifice, the end would have been more or less the same.

    Supremo, yes Thailand had a pro-Japanese government installed and it seems that they did not suffer as much. Same with the Indonesians who were occupied because of their oil. Considering the material and collective psychological costs to us, you’d have to wonder if being caught in the cross fire was worth it.

  24. UP student

    cvj, If your theme was “would it not have been nice if the Americans were never in the Philippines”, I’ll at least give you that “it would have been better had McArthur never returned to Manila” and just leapfrogged past Luzon. McArthur made a mistake when he chose to retake Manila, and the resultant “…battle for Manila was the first and fiercest urban fighting in the entire Pacific War. … Few battles in the closing months of World War II exceeded the destruction and the brutality of the massacres and savagery of the fighting in Manila.

    Casualties : an estimated 100,000 Filipinos killed; 16,000 Japanese soldiers died, mostly sailors from the Japanese Manila Defense Force; 1,010 U.S. soldiers dead. The Battle of Manila lasted a month; Manila suffered destruction worse than the German Luftwaffe had visited upon London. The death-toll in Manila was worse than the 78,150 killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August,1945, and the 84,500 who died in the firebombing of Tokyo by the U.S. Air Force in 1945.

  25. anna de brux

    The worst thing about the battle for Manila is that most of the deaths and destruction were caused by friendly fire from our allies.

  26. UP student

    supremo… Japanese invasion forces landed in Thailand. The Thai military put up a few hours of resistance before negotiations kicked into gear and Thailand became a neutral staging ground for Japan to wage war against Malaya. Switzerland was neutral and Thailand was neutral, but Thailand became burial ground to thousands of conscripts — forced labor — as Japan willed the creation of Thai-Burma Railway from Thailand to Burma/Rangoon (to support upport Japanese occupation of Burma). “Expensive” railroad project. One out of two (100,000 of 200,000) conscripted Asian labourers died and 16,000 of the 60,000 Allied POW’s forced to work on the railway died.
    [I saw the bridge over the river Kwai; also the re-enactment and associated light-show; also one of the cemeteries for the Allied war-dead.]

  27. justice league

    Cvj,

    But what if Hawaii itself fell early enough. GErmany might not have invested the same effort in Aircraft carrier capacity but the fact that Japan did, meant that the west coast could have been fair game with Hawaii as a forward base. America would have pulled much of its help to Britain, China, Russia etc. into itself

    America may have utilized us as soldiers in what some term as America’s war but at least we died defending the islands. In what they did in Korea, JApan exported nearly 100,000 koreans as their cannon fodder to subjugate other people. Without the Americans here, Japan could have easily subjugated us too and conscripted us to fight their war too.

    And as far as I know, It was said to be the Koreans who stubbornly held on to Manila even though they were ordered to pull back.

  28. Louie Reyes

    justice league, i concur sir, i always remember my grandfather say that it was the Koreans. past is past, time to heal and start again. You guys are A-1 in history, shouts to you!!!

    About “Lacking Professional IT’s”, i don’t think so, “Forcing Our Professionals IT’s Out of the country” Sounds better. our very own Philippines don’t have anything good to offer. I.T.’s “US” in this country are stuck in an “Infinite Loop” of poverty, we all need to ESC.

  29. UP student

    cvj’s message has become a lot clearer. Had the Philippines already been independent when WW2 broke out, it is possible that Japan could have treated us like it treated China — rape of Nanking comes to mind.
    Or… the Philippines could have become a Thailand –“neutrality” during WW2 sparing its citizenry from being cannon-fodder or slave-labor conscripts. It is a big stretch, though, for Thailand to say “neutral” when a hundred-thousand-Asian slave labor died on its soil, but no one seems to be asking Thailand for reparations so I suppose Asia has bought into Thailand’s neutrality claim.
    Did Japan send Filipino slave-labor to work on the Thai/Burma “Death” Railway? If Japan/WW2 took Filipinas as sex-slaves, why not conscript Filipinos as slave-labor? And has the Philippines closed its books regarding those who freely offered their bodies and services to the Japanese (e.g. the Makapilis)?

  30. melvinsky

    there is a flip side to coconuter’s comments.On pakikisama that is how an extended family or a community struggles and survives. for a filipino family all members who are better off share with whoever is not welloff. This is to acertain extent one form of social security as the filipino sees it. This becomes a problem as coconuter has experienced when abuse is present. Now for the “stealing” mentality, coconuter may enderstand this in the context of “we” and “they” anti-colonial ala ‘robin hood”mentality. Many may disagree but there are plenty of examples for these. one example is that among depressed communities there are less stealing among themselves. Thieves among them often went to the villages or to busy thoroughfares. I am not saying that this mentality should be condoned. What i am saying is that they rationalize their stealing from people who are better off and do not belong to their communities.

  31. hvrds

    UP student says that capital goods are passe! In entertainment can you have movies and podcasts without the physical capital infrastructure in place. Can you communicate through your cell phones without the physical hardware and satelites and those rockets that put them into space. Have you ever visited a TV station and look at all the capital equipment that is necessary for broadcasting. Remember the last typhoon when wires and cell sites were blown down and those massive turbines that produce electricity were forced to shut down. You needed to wait for those giant cranes to fix downed poles. Or you could have organized a chain gang of young students like yourselves and figured out a way to lift those suckers.

    Captalism is a social format wherein the economy of a country is mechanized – you know the industrial revolution. First man mechanized the physcial labor process and now man is mechanizing the brain process. Capiche! Think of the thousands of servers that Google had to purchase from Cisco to process those electronic digits. Very similar to your neurons that fire in your brain. Think of that artificial brain with a camera that guides a missle to its destination guided by an infra red beam. Can you do all those wonderful things without an electronic mechanical device?

    That is the heart of capitalism. But you must remember that you need fuel – first wood, then coal then oil and who knows what in the future.

    Modern industrial methods have evolved since the original Bessemer process that put us in the steel age. So now that most industrialized countries population live in urban areas, which would not have been possible without steel and steam. (electricity) Now as for the Philippines apart from puto and the Hot Babes do we produce the turbines that produce our electricity?

    Now as far as the functions of monetary policy and outsourcing that to the Federal Reserve I strongly suggest you bone up on how a monetary system works. In the year 2001 Congressman Ron Paul of the U.S. questioned Greenspan as to why M1 was dormant and M3 was increasing. Greenspan’s answer was that he was having problems with the current defintition of what money is. Congressman Paul then asked him as to how come since it was his job to manage monetary policy and he (Greenspan) did not know what money is? Greenspan answered “thats the problem”

    What do you these machines are called? Yep they are called capital goods. What do you think those combines in modern countries are called – capital goods.

    Whe you get into a 747 to fly that airplane in case you did not notice is a capital good with software which is a capital good produced to fly that sucker.

    Now as far as the functions of monetary policy and outsourcing that to the Federal Reserve I strongly suggest you bone up on how a monetary system works. In the year 2001 Congressman Ron Paul of the U.S. questioned Greenspan as to why M1 was dormant and M3 was increasing dangerously. Greenspan’s answer was that he was having problems with the current defintition of what money is. Congressman Paul then asked him as to how come since it was his job to manage monetary policy and he (Greenspan) did not know what money is? Greenspan answered “thats the problem”

    UP student probably knows a lot but still does not understand what he knows.

    I certainly do not either.

  32. cvj

    Justice League, perhaps it’s true, but i read somewhere that the Koreans are p*ssed off whenever the Japanese claim that it was them who committed the atrocities in Manila. If Hawaii fell, i think Roosevelt would have thought harder before helping Europe first, but he would eventually have done so anyway. As for mounting an invasion on the US mainland, there’s still a lot of ocean in between and control would have depended on who had the bigger carrier fleet.

    UP Student, thanks for elaborating on what happened to Manila. As for your other alternate history scenarios, those are plausible as well. We may even have fought along side the Japanese in which case, we would probably have received more of that reconstruction funding after the war.

  33. justice league

    Yeah, I recall a columnist claim that Koreans are p*ssed off with the Japanese (PERIOD!)

    Probably why North Korea’s saber rattling is of prime concern to the Japanese.

    Anyway, it was an alternative reality scenario and many things could have really happened.

    LR, I don’t really have anything bitter about the Japanese; it was just plainly an alternate history discussion.

  34. UP student

    hvrds… I have an interest in wealth-creation with knowledge, intellectual-property, and “the law”. I know 4 Chinese (head-office in New Jersey) who uses “branch-and-bound”-math to drive their million-dollar business. [They help British Telecom and other carriers figure out where to buy trunk-capacity to support telecom traffic.] Math-majors of La Salle/Ateneo/UP may also know know of the load-balancing problem. For decades now, one mathematician has been receiving royalties since his knowledge-solution (on how to load cargo and passengers onto airplanes) remains in use. That Iranian woman who just went on a 10-day vacation in space paid her way using mathematics. (I’ll admit, the math had to be “burned” onto chips to put onto telecom routers) In 5 years, with nowledge plus organizational- and marketing-skills, this Iranian woman created the $20Million for the 10-day vacation. [Actually, the wealth she built was to the tune of four-hundred-forty mil, US.]

  1. Saudi American

    Saudi American…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

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