The Russian Czar Alexander II said “It is better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait for it to abolish itself from below”. The line came to mind as I’ve been reading a couple of papers sent me by a Russian scholar, Dr. Victor Sumsky. He’s here for the International Association of Historians of Asia conference. We hope to meet sometime after the conference concludes.
Since this blog will be inactive over the next couple of days (I’ll be attending a conference on the peace process), I hope you’ll download his two papers and take a look at them. Much meat to chew over.
Today, the papers weigh in with their versions of the Supreme Court’s decision: see what the Philippine Daily Inquirer (“The Oct. 25 decision did not rule on the adequacy of RA 6735, but the separate opinions of the justices revealed their stand on the issue”), and Malaya (Ignacio Bunye: Supreme Court decision “will not stop us, however, from our advocacy that we need fundamental reform in order to remove the remaining stumbling block towards our competitiveness.”), the Manila Times (Gabriel Claudio: Supreme Court’s decision “formally activates the constituent assembly mode for changing the Constitution.”), and the Manila Standard-Today (Gabriel Claudio: “This is probably all that the administration allies in Congress were waiting for, to go all-out for a constituent assembly.”).
President’s allies engage in target practice on administration trial balloon.
Cayetano pulls the rug from under Arroyos’ feet.
Jaime Augusto Zobel’s prescription for economic growth.
Landmark case in America: “the soapbox is not liable for whatever the speaker has said.” Blog joy.
In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Arroyo Depending on the 39% of Undecided Voters to Remain Passive. This is an elaboration of my thoughts in an earlier column published prior to the most recent Pulse Asia survey. Note the Palace is irritated with the survey results.
The Inquirer editorial is all for a fixed term for the AFP chief of staff. Conrado de Quiros clearly states the difference between Honasan-led coup attempts, and last February’s effort at a military “withdrawal of support”:
Unlike the RAM coups of the past, the February “withdrawal of support” was not a messianic act, it was a pragmatic act. It was not an act of adventurism, it was an act of desperation. Its leaders did not mount it because they wanted to; they did so because they were forced to. Nobody else would or could do it, people power having gotten powerless, or too tired, to oust someone who stole the vote and the crown. The very people who mounted Edsa People Power II themselves were importuning them to do it.
Unlike the RAM coups of the past, the February “withdrawal of support” was not a coup in the traditional sense; it was an extension of people power. It did not rely on a few individuals to carry it out; it relied on the nation to do it. If it were a coup, it would have been the most popular coup in the world, in every sense of the word “popular.” Hell, it was so openly advertised they even tried to get Generals Generoso Senga and Hermogenes Esperon to join it. The real coup, in every sense of the word too, happened well before, wreaked by GMA with the help of Garci.
Manuel Buencamino takes a look at the informal huddle between the Philippine and American presidents in Vietnam.
Jojo Robles says the anti-billboard backlash has proven to be B.S. Bong Austero is all agog over Philippine Idol, but wonders if the qualified will really win. Marichu Villanueva says taking creative license with the national anthem is illegal.
The anatomy of addictions, dissected in i-Report.
The blogosphere has Comelec AKO reacting to last night’s The Explainer.
Ellen Tordesillas is suing the President’s husband.
Katataspulong blows the whistle on what he considers racketeering on the part of civil servants obsessed with racking up legal fees.
Mga Diskurso ni Doy reproduces an interesting strategy paper on the coming elections. An intriguing outline appears in Trel B, of a national situationer from July, discussed in the Center for Strategic Studies.