The President’s husband goes home. Lucio Tan’s luck increases: PAL seems poised to gain control of NAIA-3. The Associated Press reports the emerging conventional wisdom: it will be an opposition victory in the Senate, an administration victory in the House, which means more of the same over the next three years.
Overseas: Dubya throws down the gauntlet and vetoes a congressional timetable for an Iraq pullout. Michelle Tsai points out, however, that behind the scenes, both sides will still find ways to cooperate. The French are atwitter over a leading presidential candidate’s wife going AWOL.
My Arab News column for this week is Our Languages and Our Songs in the Philippines.
In his column, Bong Austero tries to clarify what he believes to be misconceptions concerning English and business’ attitude towards the language:
English proficiency is important. But analytical thinking, problem solving, and interpersonal effectiveness skills are more important. And more often than not, the absence of these skills automatically translates into deficiency in English rather than the other way around. In short, someone who lacks analytical thinking skills or interpersonal effectiveness automatically flunks in the area of fluency. We find that the ability to articulate ideas is a function of poor thinking skills to begin with, and not necessarily due to lack of familiarity with English words and phrases.
In other words, it is wrong to assume that the business community is simply complaining about English deficiency. Yes, we bewail the generally declining levels of English proficiency, but we also rile against the generally dismal levels in other competency areas. So as far as we are concerned, the issue is not just about language, but about overall competitiveness of the output of academe.
You saw it coming department: this piece by Rick Saludo, I believe, is significant. He takes the Chief Justice to task, which can only suggest the Supreme Court is now firmly in the Palace’s sights. The most irony-filled sentence in the whole piece? This:
And unlike terrorists, governments submit to legislative and judicial review and restraint and electoral rebuff.
Amando Doronila says the Palace is in a pickle because of the (in)Justice Secretary (who, incidentally, wants to deport Senator Lacson):
First, she sacks or suspends Gonzalez, or second, Gonzalez steps down. Either course is difficult. The first offers the President a dramatic opportunity to reestablish her badly damaged credibility and to regain public confidence in her ability to ensure a fair and free election and carry out a fair administration of justice. The second course is unlikely. If neither option takes place, the consequences for the administration could be more damaging.
But you know what? If you string Gonzalez’s statements together, is it just me or does he sound eerily like Augusto Pinochet? See Posthegemony.
Manuel Buencamino pens an open letter to Satur Ocampo, criticizing the Left’s endorsement of Joker Arroyo and Ralph Recto. The Inquirer editorial wonders why the Palace is upset by the kind of survey it found useful to use in the past. Much as there’s much to agree with the views of Luis Teodoro, for example, I do believe the Left’s decision to endorse Joker Arroyo is politics at its most short-sighted.
Overseas: pot-shot time. Daniel Gross takes aim at Tom Wolfe; Christopher Hitchens takes aim at George Tenet.
In the blogosphere (and online columns), the English-Filipino debate sputters on, see The Ignatian Perspective’s views on bilingual education in America.
Captain’s Log finds the idea of registering blogs stupid. Pinoy.Tech.Blog‘s resident lawyer, Punzi, points out what the legal issues involved, are (privacy, among them). The Unlawyer ties the website registration proposal, with a growing assumption, he says, among market players, that the government will be missing its revenue target goals.
Letters from Asia on a survey in China and a startling conclusion: there still seem to be committed Marxists there.
Jaemark Tordecilla on David Halberstam; see Open Culture for links to Halberstam’s last speech. Joel Saracho recalls Joe Burgos even as Burgos’s son goes missing. In Vanity Fair, exclusive excerpts from the diaries of Ronald Reagan.
Madame Chiang goes to Banaue, and photographs the local substitute for police tape.
A Citizen on Mars recounts a dream he had. Carlos Celdran points to a bizarre, ongoing thread on Filipinos of Spanish extraction.
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