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Mar 02

Premature celebration

The model for the public intellectual includes, preeminently for liberals, I think, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Sad news that he’s passed away. I’d only started the reading the first volume of his autobiography, “A Life in the Twentieth Century : Innocent Beginnings, 1917 – 1950″ (Jr.”, Arthur M. “Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. Schlesinger), a kind of human monument to the liberal life, who, as Taylor Marshal points out, didn’t vote for Jimmy Carter because he found him too conservative (and the best the conservatives can do is promote Conservapedia).The classical historian Michael Meckler wishes Schlesinger had been more grounded in classical antiquity. A fond appreciation by Evan Thomas comes out in Newsweek. An anecdote from 2004 from Josh Marshall -how he tried to explain what a blog is to Schlesinger.

Perhaps trumpeting everything is peachy was a bit premature. After some bargain hunting yesterday, the market decided to drop some more, today. The peso, too, continued its slight dip. Is it just me, or is government’s pointing to OFW remittances and downplaying the overall importance of the stock market, a bit of a retreat from its past talking points?

(Here’s hoping consumer groups monitor power rates to see if rate drops last as long as guaranteed: 10 month in Luzon, 18 months in Mindanao, visayas for 3 months, and at the biggest drop, 31 centavos per KWH, seems to me pure electioneering in the President’s bailiwick right there).

Slate Magazine tries to pin down the causes for the selloff in the US market, and it thinks it wasn’t really about China:

U.S. stock markets have routinely shrugged off negative information during the recent bull run. What made yesterday different? This time, the signs of a slowdown – not a recession but a slowdown – are clearly evident. The plunge in durable goods orders indicated that the manufacturing sector may be in danger of recession. (Thankfully, the U.S. economy relies less and less on manufacturing for growth, which is why a manufacturing recession may not trigger an economy-wide one.)

And the twin turbines that have driven the U.S. economy in recent years are clearly sputtering. When housing is doing well, it stimulates a great deal of economic activity, creates jobs, and makes people feel wealthier – and hence more likely to spend. When housing is doing poorly, the opposite holds. And as today’s new home-sales report confirms, housing is still struggling. Prices and home values are down marginally, but when assets are encumbered with huge amounts of debt – as houses are – it doesn’t take much of a decline to make an impact. (If you put 10 percent down on a house, and it declines 10 percent in value, you’ve lost your entire investment.)

Second, and more important, there has been a precipitous decline in the business of housing-related credit. In recent years, cheap and abundant mortgages have allowed people to buy ever-more-expensive homes with little money down and to borrow against homes they already own to expand and renovate, thus fueling consumer spending. The huge volume of so-called mortgage-equity withdrawal, Alan Greenspan and his Federal Reserve colleague Mark Kennedy have argued, has been a significant contributor to the late consumer-spending binge.

Here, too, the trend may no longer be the economy’s friend. Interest rates are still low. But with subprime-lending operations failing, and with big banks taking big hits to their mortgage portfolios, pressure is mounting among regulators and investors for lenders to become more parsimonious.

Anyway, in finally accepting an opposition challenge to debate, the administration wants to keep the discussion to the economy, while denying the other side any opportunity to discuss inconvenient truths (that the opposition would do well to focus on). This is typical (and comes from an appreciation on which side its bread is buttered). As the Inquirer editorial today puts it (referring to something else),

The thing is, the President could answer all of these questions with grace and intelligence, but she always chooses to question the motivations of those posing them, always espying dark shadows behind the queries, and always demanding that the questions be made along her own line of inquiry, which is predictably favorable to her government. She does not only want to be President, she also wants to be stage manager.

Meanwhile, the Vice President is methodically, but quietly, building his own power base for 2010. JB Baylon points out the attractiveness of Ang Kapatiran.

WTF Department: Danton Remoto, according to an interview he had with Twink Macaraig, didn’t file his candidacy for senator. So he can’t run for senator. And the Comelec has rejected Ang Ladlad’s bid for party list accreditation. Which leaves Danton mulling over running for congressman in the 3rd congressional district of Quezon City. So that leaves me and faithful reader of this blog in the lurch, doesn’t it? Neither of us can vote for Remoto for senator. Which leaves me back to voting for Kiko Pangilinan, I guess…

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  1. mlq3

    bencard, i think the one thing we can agree on is that the problems of the country are larger than any single leader, and that the start of any solutions lies beyond any single leader, either. and i do think that there will still be more that unites us, than divides us.

  2. Bencard

    Thanks, MLQ3, I agree wholeheartedly.

  3. The Ca t

    and oh, we’re you not the one who is so fond of citing from wikipedia? and you call that in-depth research?

    The wiki is for easy access to information. Long before wiki , the CIA worlfact is being used for info about countries.

    But there is no more point to argue.

    I believe in the saying that ” Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.”

    I have no time to discuss in-depth research to a person who does not have an inkling on how it is done.

  4. anna de brux

    Whimper, whimper and whine, poor Bencard. You’re still out of your depth. For your peace of mind, this is the last of the series on Gloria bansot in this thread, ok?

    Bencard, do ask yourself this question: Why is it Gloria bansot is so disliked even by those people who used to be her friends and avid supporters?

    I’ll let you in on a secret: Gloria bansot likes to think that her policies are wonderful, that they’re effective, that the economy is booming, etc., that more often than not, draconian policies, eg, economic, human rights, foreign relations, etc, policies which she claims make a leader unpopular, and just to make you happy let’s pretend they’re all true.

    But surely, among her bosom friends, who were at some point willing to sacrifice everything for her, particularly Cory Aquino, Billy Esposo, Bing Rodrigo (may she rest in peace), Dinky Soliman, Jamby Mardrigal, and I dare say Mlq3 too, plus a host of other once very, very good friends of hers, not excluding those people in the country who have the education, the means, the capacity and the depth of thinking capable of accepting all those pretenses (but who now have turned their backs on her), there should be one of them who would still be by her side ready to battle it out because as you seem to say, she’s the best leader Pinas can have?

    As Mlq3 once said in a previous thread, Gloria spends more time trying to solve her personal problems than actually governing. True! And why so? Coz the pretender that she is is nothing but a moral wannabe.

    The truth is Gloria has no scruples, the truth is she has no moral fiber in her body, the truth is she is a greedy lil political harlot who’s prepared to thrash good governance so that she may divide and rule rather than unite and be counted.

    So, Bencard, you who have never met Gloria per what you said before, should perhaps look into the whys and wherefores; and accept that this woman is the next lousiest thing that ever happened to Pinas, that it would do Pinoy humanity a bit of good to give her one complete thumping in the polls short of bodily dragging out of Malacanang.

    My suggestion to you: Don’t be foul to those who say what they think of her – you will not get anywhere; don’t whimper and whine against those who know of her, who have dealt with her and who have a better idea (than you can ever have) of what thorough greedy horrid lil manipulative human being she actually is…

    So you don’t get giddy in case you decide to get on a high horse which you are at this instant ready to do, for your info I’ve known Gloria since 1992 when she first became senator elect, been at her small dinners in that ivory tower that she loves (Malacanang) and matter of fact, very recently had a short phone conversation with her to report to her about your hated Joma Sison so on that account, I do believe I have a serious advantage over your “un-travelled” person when it comes to Gloria!

    Meanwhile, take care of that prostate problem of yours… I heard a rise in BP could make it worse.

    Cheers!

  5. inidoro ni emilie

    certainly wouldn’t look good if you argue with yourself, huh?

  6. justice league

    Cvj,

    Your use of the words “professionals”, “inexperienced doctors” and “doctor-trainees” make it seem that you are referring to graduates of medicine or those taking medicine already. We don’t know yet the quality of the foreign physicians except to surmise that they are of standard quality. Majority could be general practitioners which could serve as front-liners. Some might be veterans.

    But your idea would seem to cater only to those who are already doctors or taking up medicine.

    Will the idea of taking in foreign physicians convince graduate Filipino physicians to take up residency courses instead of taking up nursing and leaving for parts yonder? Maybe but it seems to be a long shot.

    Will the idea of taking in foreign physicians convince College students to take up medicine? That seems a longer shot.

    When the brownouts/blackouts hit us in the late 80’s/early 90’s, a certain Aboitiz was the head of the energy department or something. I don’t begrudge that part of his family’s richness comes from selling generators but what I have a gripe about is his statements on the energy problem then.

    The energy deficiency had already hit us. He said that he had about 1-3 power plants planned back then but they just “never got to put in on the ground” (that seems to be the words he used) when the problem surfaced.

    So basically the guy said that as head of energy; he anticipated the problem beforehand, he made his plans, but he just didn’t act on them.

    And that was why we were going to suffer from 6-10 hour brownouts/blackouts for a number of years!

    I don’t even know if the plans the guy made were even used to solve our problem.

    The initial solution was to get oil guzzling power barges but the long range ones were to put up standing power plants (Ok so there’s said to be anomalies there too but that’s a different story). The government didn’t continue to buy power barges, barges, barges, and barges to solve the problem.

    This health problem has been staring us for a number of years already. This government already had 6 years in office. Long range solutions should have been planned weeks ago. But there doesn’t seem to be a long term plan yesterday. There doesn’t seem to be a long term plan today. And there is no assurance that there will be a plan tomorrow.

    Of course I admit that just because I didn’t find a plan (Doctors to the barrios, Medical tourism, pitch for medical transcription doesn’t seem geared to address that problem) doesn’t mean that plans don’t exist. Though the experience with this government is that it likes to “talk the talk”; I can give it enough leeway that it does have plans but just aren’t making them public though it sounds uncharacteristic.

    (Very few doctors and lawyers know about the plan for foreign physicians but that might be because the administration is afraid of any negative reaction)

    That’s primarily the reason why I added “with corresponding action” in a post above because I remember what the Aboitiz guy said about our electricity problem.

    Any corresponding action would have been felt/seen/heard by now.

    I realize that this thread is about to die. Just in case you are interested in continuing with this; I suggest you put up a thread in MUKAMO forum in their Isyu 101 or a forum of your choice. I can see you there tonight.

  7. Bencard

    abd, since you seem to have a keen interest on the condition of my genitals, let me tell you I have no “prostate problem”, and for your further information, I don’t have to use viagra.

    Temper? What temper? I dare you cite one instance where I used “foul language” against cvj or anyone else. I may use sarcasm, but not obscenities like you do. The record of this blog would bear me out.

    The Gloria-haters that you named are, most if not all, either known to be communists or leftists. The way I see it, these people participated in People Power II not to help PGMA nor oust Estrada but to create a power vacuum where they could try to grab the seat of power. Failing in that (because the Constitutional successor, PGMA) was the legal and obviously the logical and most qualified replacement, these would-be power grabbers had to portray themselves as “kingmakers” and act as though they were the enablers of GMA’s ascent to the presidency and thus “entitled” to the spoils.

    Well, we all know what happened. Aquilino Pimentel did not get the vice presidency that he was coveting; no left-leaning aspirant made it to the cabinet (in constast with the Cory Aquino administration who naively chose to play footsie with the left), more former military men were appointed to responsible civilian positions, and, most important, PGMA played hard ball with the communists, and remained tough with them in the so-called peace negotiation. The whole left/communist world (evidently including yoursel)was chagrined and did intensify personal attacks against PMGA calling her, among other things, liar, cheat, thief, moral dwarf, bansot, labandera, and illegitimate president.

    In a bizarre partnership with the political opposition, left-leaning media, academe, gullible students, and disgruntled former “allies” (whose aggregate number was insignificant to make a difference), these subversives speaheaded two impeachment attempts and noisy, but embarassingly ineffective, “oust-Gloria” movements. In frustration, they had to resort to a malevolent “modus vivende” with the “adventurous” and ambitious elements in the military to orchestrate a “coup d’ etat” which ended in another humiliation for them.

    Meanwhile, Jamby Madrigal, who managed to finagle a spot in the 2004 GMA senatorial slate and won, shed her disguise right after and started bad-mouthing GMA at every turn, even naively suing the latter in the international fora, while visiting known Filipino communist enclaves in Europe. Dinky Soliman? May she rest in peace, politically speaking. She is a living illustration of the truism, treachery will get you nowhere but your own perdition.

    As to my being “untravelled”, all I can say to you is: I’ve been everywhere, woman. And my world is not “dreary” as yours probably is. I know about Europe, especially Brussels, Amsterdam or Bologna, or the former East Germany.

    I still think you’d make a good minister of hate. Or, maybe, a moral inquisitor and judge at the same time.

  8. Bencard

    It appears that Jamby run under the KNP slate in 2004, not with the Arroyo senatorial team. My mistake.

  9. justice league

    Bencard,

    You seem to be apologizing for something that Anna de Brux brought up regarding Jamby Madrigal. I’m perplexed why.

    Anyway, I am not definite but try looking up erythromycin for Filipino invention. I heard that it was brought to the attention of Eli Lilly by a Filipino. But then I’m not sure.

  10. Bencard

    justice, my previous post is still “awaiting moderation”. If and when it is approved for showing, my jamby erratum will make sense to you.

  11. justice league

    Bencard,

    Very well.

  12. chixie

    pede tagalog…..?

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    […] 5. Kalusugan? … so ano ang positibong gianwa ng opposisyon para na matigil ang extra Judicial …http://www.quezon.ph/1171/premature-celebration-2/http://zandradal.blogs.friendster.com/Dahil ba di natin ginagamit ang mga prinsipyo ng confucianism […]

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