Black in Manila, Yellow in KL, whistle blower in Seoul

See some Flikr photos of Postcard Power! See videos here: Preparations for Pinoy Big Briber Makati March; then Pinoy Big Briber rallyists march to Makati Post Office, and then Protesters mail Pinoy Big Briber postcards to President Arroyo.

And reports, here: Civil society mails Palace ‘Big Briber evicted’ postcards: Network sends Black & White notice on logo and Arroyo critics send ‘Pinoy Big Briber” eviction notice. Also, Group launches protests vs ‘Pinoy Big Briber’. An unserious look by the jolly Philippine Onion and Uniffors.

Bloggers expressed support for the Pinoy Big Briber concept: see Webspace Of A Struggling Paediatrician, and Jennifer He Said and i.am.bliss and Galloping Glutton and Life, the Universe, and Everything; while pusang maganda showed up to lend moral support. And Journal of the Jester-in-Exile. And Etcetera etcetera points out the clincher remains: who is the alternative?

After Pakistan, the democratic (or pseudo-democratic) dominoes continue to fall. As Philippine Politics 04 points out, People Power in Georgia has been foiled; the blogger points to this column, Tragedy in Georgia. The Economist doesn’t think snap elections will help matters: Georgia, no peace I find:The country is in a mess. Snap elections are unlikely to provide a solution:

Now a state of emergency has enabled the authorities to black out opposition radio and television stations (and in some cases smash their equipment). Public meetings have been banned. That has given all sides a chance to shout “provokatsiya”, a Russian word with no direct translation, much used in the ex-communist world. Literally, it means a “provocation”, but with elements of “stunt” and “dirty trick”.

The upshot is that Mikheil Saakashvili, the strong-headed pro-Western president who triumphed in the 2003 “rose revolution”, seems to have let himself be provoked to the point of near disaster. He has handed a propaganda gift to his Russian adversaries, severely dented his self-proclaimed credentials as a democrat, and dismayed his friends abroad. On Thursday November 8th Mr Saakashvili tried to defuse some of the tension by calling hasty presidential elections for January 5th.

Mr Saakashvili and his allies in government already have a strong electoral mandate. Big demonstrations do not necessarily trump that. The country’s economic, regulatory and military reforms have been by any standard a stunning success. And the opposition is in large part incoherent and hysterical, and may well be financed or even organised by outside forces that wish the country ill. Today Georgia publicly accused Badri Patarkatsishvili, a tycoon who co-owns Imedi, an opposition television and radio station, with Rupert Murdoch, of trying to stage a coup (how Mr Patarkatsishvili, who is exiled from Russia, would fit in with the alleged Kremlin involvement is not clear).

But other aspects are troubling. The presidency’s strong powers make it particularly important that decision-making is based on the best available advice and is exercised with scrupulous clarity and care. Mr Saakashvili’s impulsive temperament, coupled in some cases with a blind eye to his friends’ flaws, have created a worrying impression of both cronyism and a liking for a brusque, even bullying, style. He is keener on building a functioning state than building a democracy. His heroes are not the likes of Thomas Jefferson, but Kemal Ataturk.

In Malaysia, Malaysian Petitioners Defy Police:

As many as 40,000 people struggled to make their way into the city center in defiance of the police ban on the rally before heading for the Istana Negara, the king’s palace. Police said they had arrested at least a dozen protesters demanding change and an end to corruption. There were no reports that people had been hurt.

The confrontation between the country’s nine sultans and the government appears to be deepening as well, with Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Terengganu, who currently holds the rotating kingship and is Malaysia’s constitutional head of state, ordering his royal guards to stand aside so that the marchers could deliver the petition despite the fact that police had refused to grant a permit for the rally. The delegation, led by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, handed the memorandum to the King’s secretary at the gate of the Istana Negara at 4 pm, accompanied by PAS’ Hadi Awang and Nasharuddin Mat Isa and DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng. The organisers then asked the crowd to disperse

Malaysia’s mainstream press, owned by the ethnic political parties, carried nothing on their websites about the protest, the biggest in Malaysia in a decade. Popular websites were jammed, apparently by government-allied cyber-jammers.

What caused the protest? As the story continues,

The protests have been sparked by continuing reports of rigged elections, judicial irregularities, widespread corruption in the dominant ethnically-based political parties, which have been in power since the country won independence from the British in 1957, and the perceived weakness of Badawi. In particular, the protesters point to a by-election in the town of Ijok in April, which the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition won in the face of what looked like a solid challenge by Parti Keadilan.

A Malaysian blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, charged earlier that of the 12,000 voters in the district, some 1,700 were phantom voters, with people as old as 107 still on the rolls. Others listed as voters were as young as eight years old. The ruling coalition outspent the opposition massively and, others charged, also bused in voters.

On Saturday, the government posted 4,000 police from the Field Reserve Unit to block all roads leading into Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), the former cricket pitch in front of the colonial-era Selangor Club. That brought Kuala Lumpur’s always chaotic traffic to a standstill and nearly paralyzed the city. Protesters abandoned vehicles and streamed toward the city center. They were asked to wear yellow as the color of the day because, according to flyers handed out all over the city, it is “the color for citizen action worldwide and the color for the press-freedom movement.” It also happens to be the color for Malaysia’s royalty.

There are photos of the protest, including a rather nifty map of Kuala Lumpur showing the route of the march,and a video, and links to how Malaysia’s media reported it (a traffic jam) and the outside world reported it (what it was, a rally) in Screenshots, Jeff Ooi’s blog:

Organisers of the BERSIH rally had no qualms in announcing the four gathering points — Sogo department store, Masjid India, Masjid Negara and Pasar Seni — for the march to begin from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara. It now looks like a red herring to divert police deployment of force.

By 2.30pm. Tian Chua, leading a crowd of about 500 at Pasar Tani, marched to Dataran Merdeka only to be blockaded by the FRU and police personnel stationed in front of the Bar Council building, Jalan Pasar Besar.

Verbal exchanges ensued, with wheelchair-bound Irene Fernandez of Tenaganita adding spice to the verbal volleys…

A kilometer away, Dr Hatta Ramli engaged another police blockade, and verbal exchanges ensued with some physical contacts and minor skirmishes reported. Elsewhere in Masjid Jamek and Masjid India areas, some BERSIH rally participants, particularly those in yellow shirts, were detained and later released…

Somewhere nearer, aroud Majid Jamek, where the LRT bypassed the station without making a usual halt at Pasar Tani, drama ensued before the rain poured…

Meanwhile, another group led by Ustaz Hadi Awang (enroute from Pasar Tani) and Nasharuddin Mat Isa, coming from Masjid Negara and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, weaved through the alleys connecting the Dayabumi basement carpark and made their way to the Istana…

By then, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Khalid Ibrahim and Kamaruddin Jaafar had waited patiently at the gate of the palace. The crowd, some meandering through Jalan Kampung Attap, had swollen to over 40,000, congregating behind the police condone some 200 meters away from the palace.

Police back-up were ordered, with truckloads of uniformed enforcers rushing to the spot. Traffic personnel were seen directing the crowd to cross the road safely.

The leaders appealed for more time when Brickfields OCPD Sulaiman Junaidi threatened to use force to disperse the crowd. Khalid Ibrahim asked for five more minutes as the memo was in the hand of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who were caught in the snarling traffic, an outcome of police blockades mounted on the perimeters of the city.

Finally, Anwar arrived on the pillion seat of a big bike…

The delegation was, however, prevented from entering the palace compound. Minutes later, the memo was ultimately delivered at the gate, received by an Agong’s secretary.

The crowd dispersed peacefully, in much the same way they had walk from the starting point of the route…

Obviously, the organisers had learned their lesson well from the Batu Buruk Incident, where agent provocateurs had induced a pandemonium that ended with live bullets being fired at the civilians by the police.

The unsung heroes were the brigade in maroon, the Unit Amal Malaysia, organised by PAS. This is the same group of youths who gave me a motorcycle ride from Taman Melewar to the Markaz Tarbiyah PAS Pusat in Gombak when I attended the Hari Raya Open House recently.

See also, his earlier entry with more photos and contrasting media coverage):

The BERSIH memo was successfully submitted to the Istana around 4.00pm today, cheered on by about 40,000 people who braved the rain, and the police’s water cannons and tear gas, to accomplish the delivery.

There had never been peaceful demonstrations, the PM said? Today, the crowd marched and dispersed after the submission of memo, peacefully…

Incidentally, the BERSIH rally remained top news of the hour, every hour, since 3.00pm on Al-Jazeera International today.

I was in the Al-Jazeera studio to give live commentaries during the 3.00pm, 4.00pm and 6.00pm bulletins over Astro Channel 513. There will be a live crossover with Anwar Ibrahim during the 8.00pm prime time news tonight.

There are visuals that show Al-Jazeera correspondent getting doused in the chemical-laced waterjets the Police shot at the crowd.

The Minister of Information was caught rattling mindless criticism at the Doha-based satellite channel when was interviewed over thephone during the 4.00pm bulletin. It was active denial mode that shook many heads in the newsroom, and Astro deemed it fit to have it removed when the edited version was on air again at 6.00pm…

BBC’s new pointman in KL, Robin Brant, and CNN International each has a report in addition to other global media chronicling the event. Read them comparatively to judge for yourselves how history took place and was reported locally and by foreign media, respectively.

See also,

And,

In think it out*, another harsh look at the party-controlled media in Malaysia:

Zam also got creamed by Aljazeera (worse than Syed Hamid did at the hands of BBC not too long back ) in a phone interview right after the march. He claimed that Aljazeera was “exaggerating” the actions of the police, to which the correspondent replied “As you say that, sir, we are watching scenes of protesters being sprayed by chemical-filled water!”

Also sad to note that both our Foreign and Information Ministers don’t speak English very well..

The ironic thing is that one of the key points in the memorandum was the control of the mainstream media by Barisan – proven right by the massive cover up the govt is trying to put on.

See how the issue unfolded in these articles: Malaysia’s Judicial Tango then Malaysian Sultan Blasts Judiciary then Judge Dread in Malaysia and then Electoral Dismay Prompts Malaysian March which came out right before the story quoted above.

Here’s propaganda from protesters:

While in South Korea, Korea’s Samsung Scandal Deepens:

The story first surfaced on October 29 when the Catholic Priests organization aired allegations of a US$5.5 million fund maintained by Samsung. That has now grown to 1 trillion won, according to Kim and the association. In an interview with the partly state-owned Korean television station MBC, Kim said individual prosecutors received US$5,000 to US$20,000 during a single payment session, depending on rank and position, adding that some prosecutors had come to him to ask why they hadn’t received cash payments.

The whistleblower alleges that Samsung regularly bribed as many as 40 Korean prosecutors and manipulated evidence and testimony in connection with the illegal transfer of wealth from the Samsung chairman to his children. That involved Samsung Everland, which controls the group itself through links that include 19.3 percent of Samsung Life Insurance and holdings in other group affiliates. Samsung Everland, an amusement park and entertainment company, allegedly was involved in helping Lee pass on control of the business empire to his son, Lee Jae-yong. Lee Jae-yong is alleged to have bought 1.25 million Samsung Everland shares at W7,700 (US$7.90) per share — a pittance compared to the trading price of W85,000 at the time.

The story has been getting scant attention in Korea’s mainstream press, where Samsung, the country’s biggest company and the fifth largest in the world, controls as much as 30 percent of the advertising dollars and where newspapers are wary of reporting derogatory news. The international wire services have been reluctant to run the story as well without independent confirmation. However, the growing legions of Korea’s bloggers are having a field day with it.

See the entry in Marmot’s Hole:

Chaebols creating slush funds and bribing people isn’t new, but what makes this case unique is that a former insider has come foward with the allegations, something that is rare in this society.

On a related note, the concerns raised by the Samsung story and feeble coverage are echoed in another entry on Japan in Global Voices: Japan: Pulling the Strings.

While in the form of dense notes, Government-business relationship in East Asia suggests the close relationship between politicians and businessmen in Japan (see also this partial transcript of a lecture on the Japanese political economy) and South Korea, a relationship now clashing with aspirations for more transparent government. See also Tycoon Politics Return to Thailand.

And all of these things, all of the above, abroad and at home, are tied together by Postcard Headlines.

And for once, Demosthenes’ Game and I agree perfectly, or rather, I agree with a point he raises. Other opinions on the same tragedy are at The Equalizer and [email protected] Holdings.

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53 comments

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  1. Anwar Ibrahim will be stirring trouble in Malaysia; I don’t think he’s up to any good. True, Badawi is weak and that’s one of the problems too. Ibrahim has been ‘rumoured’ to be a CIA asset when he was sent to jail by Mahathir.

    There are legitimate demands and that’s true. Topping them is the problem in the judiciary which is ‘controlled’ for the most part by Malaysians of Indian descent (these were folks who persevered and studied, the Malay Malays caught on recently only). They’re trying to reform the judiciary and things are well on the way. But Ibrahim has a bone of contention with the current govt, i.e, his imprisonment, and I think he will stir shit for as long as it takes.

    Ibrahim is also a dangerous man — he is heavily tied to the muslim fundamentalists in East Coast Malaysia; he’s been using them to stir trouble. If he had his way, he would “nationalize” interests owned by the Chinese. And where would that take the country? Ibrahim is as corrupt as any one in government today. He accepted bribes left right and center before Mahathir finally put him in shackles.

    I don’t trust Anwar Ibrahim. I’d put him back in jail if I were Badawi.

  2. Marcos and his cheap Copycat

    1) Slogan:

    Marcos: “This nation can be great again. This I have said over and over. It is my articles of faith, and Divine Providence has willed that you and I can now translate this faith into deeds.”

    Gloria :“Now I will lead our country towards the strong Republic … In the end , we are one nation under God , one people , with one aspiration : a country as good as it can get!

    2)Vision:

    Marcos:had a vision of a “New Society”—similar to the “New Order” that was imposed in Indonesia under dictator Suharto. He used the martial law years to implement this vision.

    Gloria : had a vision “ Strong Republic” and craft a new Constitution that is neither leftist nor rightist to ensure the realization of a fully modern and developed Philippines in the 21st century.

    3) Presidential Proclamations 1081/1017:

    Marcos:

    *Presidential Proclamation No. 1081 :this proclamation placed the entire country under martial law .

    *Letter of Instruction No. 1 – Marcos ordered the Press Secretary and the Secretary of National Defense to take over and control or cause the taking over and control of newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media of communications for the duration of the national emergency.

    Gloria:

    Presidential Proclamation 1017:This Proclamation gave Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the power:

    *to issue warrantless (and until then unconstitutional) arrests
    *to take over private institutions that run public utilities

  3. We make noise now because that is all we can do but has anyone even dared to ask “what next”? Has anyone ever thought of a follow through course of action or are we just good at making a lot of noise???

    • qwert on November 11, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    This notice appeared in the window of a coat store in Nottingham, England:

    “We have been established for over 100 years and have been pleasing and displeasing customers ever since. We have made money and lost money, suffered the effects of coal nationalization, coal rationing, government control, and bad payers. We have been cussed and discussed, messed about, lied to, held up, robbed, and swindled. The only reason we stay in business is to see what happens next.”

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Philippine Onion is stupid. UP Visayas (Miag-ao) had this really funny spoof newsletter. I don’t know where the humor went… probably went Stateside.

    Can’t any of you guys do better?

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Writing is terrible to boot.

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 2:37 am

    And that’s to boot.

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 2:45 am

    “We make noise now because that is all we can do but has anyone even dared to ask “what next”? Has anyone ever thought of a follow through course of action or are we just good at making a lot of noise???”

    Denison, believe i the people. I believe this: remove the kurakots and everything will be OK. We ae not cildren, nor are we savages. We can do our business, take care of our responsibilities and think tactically and strategically about our country’s future. Thinking is not the problem. The leaders are.

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 2:54 am

    I like the last video…. There will be a time… Jesus! Are they new to democracy?

    • Bencard on November 12, 2007 at 7:34 am

    i could actually count the quixotic marchers – what a pitiful sight. probably numbering a few thousands, if not hundreds. then, it looks more like they are celebrating than protesting, laughing merrily than raising clenched fists. must have heard the good economic news, e.g., stronger peso, improved revenue collection, higher volume of exports. increased employment,etc., etc.

    • inodoro ni emilie on November 12, 2007 at 8:04 am

    i could actually count the quixotic marchers – what a pitiful sight.

    yeah, right. reminds me–edsa 1 could have topped a million people plus 1 more, except this 1 preferred to hie off in safe haven. talk about armchair involvement.

    • tonio on November 12, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Dennison:

    agree with you there. no one really has seemed to give any clear roadmap as to what’s going to happen after. that lack of vision is bound to doom and protest action to the same fate… the spoils picked up by opportunists who seek nothing more than to control the national agenda for their own benefit.

    there’s so much talk about caretaker governments and what-have-you…. any idea of what they’re going to do?

    • tonio on November 12, 2007 at 9:24 am

    oops apologies! forgot to close off the strong tag.

    • Proud to be Tsinoy on November 12, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Nung 1986, anybody but Marcos
    Nung 2001, anybody but Erap
    Ngayong 2007, anybody but GMA

    I guess we really haven’t learned the lesson…and that lesson really is nobody will ever be able to run this country with clean hands for as long as the system itself is rotten. It’s really the system that produces people like Marcos, Erap, GMA and their cronies.

    Unfortunately, we as a people (and I am speaking in the collective, lest there be offended folks here), are actually co-conspirators in this so called banana republic. We allow people to throw candy wrappers on the street, we allow people to drive recklessly with nary a shrug, we allow people to cross the street along major eight lane highways and we buy smuggled goods because they’re cheap. And then we wonder why people commit crimes in high places????

    • Watchful eye on November 12, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Tsinoy, i thought it’s the other way around. Some people have the gumption to commit little infractions like throwing candy wrappers on the street because people in high places commit mind-boggling antisocial behavior like evading to pay their taxes to the tune of billion pesos, 28 billion in one case alone.

    • Harion on November 12, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    watchful, it’s a little of both actually.

    petty crimes are good practice for bigger ones later on.
    as long as no one gets punished CONSISTENTLY, we will have these kind of people around.

    look at subic. traffic violators are ALL apprehended, no exceptions. what do you get? when drivers get inside there, akala mo kung sinong santong nag-transform. antayin mong lumabas ng subic at isang funeral march ang aararuhin nyan.

    crimes happen bec no one is afraid of the law being applied to them. consistently, correctly, and justly.

    • tonio on November 12, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Harion:

    and to think they pardon people who steal billions nowadays eh? oh but wait, the people who commit these crimes belong to the privileged classes, the self-proclaimed elites for the last thread. as long as you’re from that group, the law will NOT apply to you. any ordinary joe had better have a lot of money for the same exception to apply to them.

    if you’ve neither, better follow the law and hope the authorities decide not to pick on you or anything.

    sucks, doesn’t it?

  4. Remembering…Great Filipinos

    Ka Pepe & Ka Tanny
    These Great Filipinos not only excelled as leaders through their intellect & skills, but more so, they are revered for their conviction, dedication, love of country, moral leadership and values.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on November 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    “must have heard the good economic news, e.g., stronger peso, improved revenue collection, higher volume of exports. increased employment,etc., etc.” – Bencard

    Oh, sure, we have heard about it because it’s a lie that GMA doesn’t tire in proclaiming every opportunity she gets, hoping that by repeating a lie, it would become true. We have heard about the “good news”, but we haven’t felt it. People are still committing suicide, the latest a farmer, because of hunger and poverty.

    But, here’s the latest real news about your “strong peso”:

    “About five million Filipino families said they were affected negatively by the appreciation of the peso, results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed Monday.” – abs-cbnnews.com

  5. “LET US NOT FORGET”

    Full Text of PGMA speech on June 27, 2005 on the issue of ‘Hello Garci’ tapes:

    Mga Minamahal kong Kababayan,

    For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control. Tonight, I want to set the record straight. You deserve an explanation; from me, because you are the people I was elected to serve.

    As you recall, the election canvassing process was unnecessarily slow even after the election results were already in and the votes had been counted.

    I was anxious to protect my votes and during that time had conversations with many people, including a Comelec official. My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not. As I mentioned, the election had already been decided and the votes counted. And as you remember, the outcome had been predicted by every major public opinion poll, and adjudged free, fair and decisive by international election observers, and our own Namfrel.

    That said, let me tell you how I personally feel, I recognize that making any such call was a lapse in judgment. I’m sorry. I also regret taking so long to speak before you on this matter. I take full responsibility for my actions and to you and to all those good citizens who may have had their faith shaken by these events. I want to assure you that I have redoubled my efforts to serve the nation and earn your trust.

    Nagagambala ako. Maliwanag na may kakulangan sa wastong pagpapasya ang nangyaring pagtawag sa telepono.//pinagsisisihan ko ito ng lubos.// Pinana’gutan ko nang lubusan ang aking mga ginawa at humuhingi ako ng tawad sa inyo, sa lahat ng mga butihing mamamayan na nabawasan ng tiwala dahil sa mga pangyayaring ito. Ibig kong tiyakin sa inyo na lalo pa akong magsisikap upang maglingkod sa bayan at matamo ang inyong tiwala.

    I took office with a mandate to carry out a plan for the nation. Since that time, I have focused on making the tough but necessary decisions to make up for years of economic neglect. We passed a comprehensive fiscally responsible national budget; raised new and necessary revenues to reinvest in the people; and implemented new anti-corruption measures that have led to the highest collection of taxes in history.

    Nothing should stand in the way of this work, or the next phase of my reform agenda, which includes new investments in education and social services with our new revenues; and an expansion of our successful anti-corruption and lifestyle checks.

    That is why I want to close this chapter and move on with the business of governing.

    I ask each and every one of you to join hands with me in a show of unity, to help forge One Philippines, where everyone is equal under the law, and where everyone has the opportunity to use their God-given talents to make a better life.

    Our nation is strong and getting stronger. The progress is steady and I ask you to walk with me on this journey to rebuild our great nation. I remain your humble servant and promise you that I will fulfill my constitutional oath of office to serve the people to the best of my ability.

    God Bless the Philippines.

    • j_ag on November 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    “Truth is relative. Pick one that works for you and use it to win. In the end that is all that counts”

    The Shark

  6. “Any ordinary joe had better have a lot of money for the same exception to apply to them.

    if you’ve neither, better follow the law and hope the authorities decide not to pick on you or anything.

    sucks, doesn’t it?TONIO”

    On the Philippine Justice System:”We live by the rule of law. We abide by what the courts of the land decide. We must be a government that honors contracts and agreements that go through the required processes despite media attacks. And we must be a government that abides by what the courts of the land decide on matters of dispute.”GMA

  7. I really believe that Gloria has very DECENT speech writers.They want her to say the RIGHT Things for the Country.But the basic problem is that SHE does not mean it when she says it!

    • BrianB on November 12, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    “And for once, Demosthenes’ Game and I agree perfectly, or rather, I agree with a point he raises.”

    I disagree with this 100%. The church has principles. If they suddenly changed their minds about population control or suddenly ceased promoting natural methods then they’d lose at least one believer.

    The church will keep holding onto its principles. This is religion we are talking about. The problem is the hypocrites in congress. Heck, it’s a den of thieves, murderers and adulterers. They have passed a death penalty law but they cannot pass a comprehensive population control law. Almost anywhere in the world, in every country that has tried it, population control works and is working. The problem is the conservative politicians. They cannot contemplate their women, their children using condoms. Ang mga praning ang problema.

    • manuelbuencamino on November 12, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t understand this strong peso line. Does it mean that the peso has more value now?

    Kung ganun, eh bakit mas konti ang nabibili ng pera ko? Hindi ba dapat mas madami ang mabibili ko kung totoo ngang malakas ang piso?

    Umaangal amg asawa ko! Yun dalawang libong pang grocery daw dati ngayon tatlong libo na ang kailangan!

    • Mike on November 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    i could actually count the quixotic marchers – what a pitiful sight. – Bencard

    This from the same Bencard who criticized us for not protesting enough the Erap pardon!

    Well, Bencard, at least we can tell our kids later on that we got off our asses and did something. We showed that there are some people who are not going to give their consent through silence. Our presence was a big fat “NO” to things like GMA’s cash buffet and to her pardon of Erap. Most of all, we showed that there are some people who refused to be fooled all the time. And maybe some who saw us will be heartened to move also the next time GMA tries to pull a fast one.

    What about you?

    • Jeg on November 12, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    MB: Kung ganun, eh bakit mas konti ang nabibili ng pera ko? Hindi ba dapat mas madami ang mabibili ko kung totoo ngang malakas ang piso?

    Tsaka di ba dapat bababa ang presyo ng pandesal kasi ini-import natin ang harina e. Bakit tumaas ang presyo ng pandesal sa bakery sa may amin?

    (OT: Tignan nyo nga itong translation ko ng quote ni Lincoln kung tama? Hindi eksaktong translation pero gusto ko kasing ma-preserve yung rhythm at cadence ng original: Paminsan-minsan magagago mo ang ilan, at ang lahat magagago mo paminsan-minsan, pero para magago mo ang lahat, ni minsan.)

    • Mike on November 12, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    in every country that has tried it, population control works and is working. – BrianB

    Depends on what you mean by working. For instance, in Japan, and practically every developed nation in Western Europe, it has worked so well that they are going to contacept themselves to extinction, or at least to a situation where intolerable levels of immigration are needed just to keep up current levels of economic activity.

  8. to the Black N White Group:

    “What if the power of one becomes the power of many and the power of many becomes the power of one?”

    More power to you!

    • Jeg on November 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I meant:

    Paminsan-minsan magagago mo ang ilan, at ang lahat magagago mo paminsan-minsan, pero para magago mo lagi ang lahat, ni minsan.

    • Willy on November 12, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Mike,
    I think this phenomenon is known as demographic collapse. The birth rate in those countries do not even reach replacement rate; the population is aging (like in Japan); the productive sector of the population supports more elderly; and the younger generation that will replace the projected productive population is not enough due to the collapsing birth rates. That is why they need to shore up their productive population by encouraging immigration to a certain extent.

    • Jeg on November 12, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I have this suspicion that our social security system (and GSIS) is funded by future generations and not really by sound investment. If these future generations arent there (by means of a declining birth rate), there might by a collapse of the social security system. Does anybody know the state of our SSS funds? If I remember correctly, the Erap administration descended on the SSS and GSIS funds like a school of ravenous piranhas.

    • sparks on November 12, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    it has worked so well that they are going to contacept themselves to extinction -Mike

    Nyahahaha. For some twisted reason this made me laugh so hard.

    Some interesting correlations regarding falling birthrates in industrialised countries:

    1. The more educated the population, the less likely they want to have children. I don’t know if this means the more you know about this sick, sad, little world, the less likely you would wish it on another human being – let alone your own progeny.

    2. The richer the population in an economic system that puts tremendous strain on social relations, even on the family unit, the more likely both parents will be working. This means it is impractical to have many mouths to feed. The dissolution of large extended families also means there wouldn’t be uncles, lolas or older cousins around to help raise the young ones.

    3. Faith in science and modernity roughly equals loss of faith in religion. Which means you cannot revert to reasoning that “God will provide.”

    • Willy on November 12, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    There is an inverse relationship between per capita income and the fertility rate – as poverty decreases, so do the population rates.
    When people are ground into the dirt by poverty, education and opportunity falls. The example of today’s first world countries illustrates that social conditions have a major impact on population growth. In countries with higher economic and cultural levels, population growth tends to fall off. This is not to dismiss overpopulation as a problem, but it is very convenient to blame the victims of capitalism, criticizing ordinary people for breeding, thus justifying privilege – the social root of hunger. To put it simply, the hungry are hungry because they are excluded from the land.

    • hvrds on November 12, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    We all commit wrongs because we know here in the Philippines we can get away with it. That is why.

    We are a culture at home of line jumpers. That is why when Pinoy first time travelers go abroad they are the ones embarrassed to toe the line when they try the practice of jumping lines at home abroad.

    Hence the observation of Pinoys abroad that they behave. Pinoys know that abroad they get punished if they jump the line.

    Pinoys love the counterflow. Trying the beat the rest by taking the space of the oncoming traffic.

    Try that abroad and you get a ticket with points and your insurance rates go up and if you cause an accident you could go to jail.

    • anthony scalia on November 12, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    to those who say they have not felt the effect of a strong peso – wait till the exchange rate becomes P55=US$1 and oil becomes US$100 per barrel.

    you may not feel it when its strong, but you’ll surely feel it when its weak!

    yung di pagkakasya ng shopping budget, sa gobyerno pa ba naman isisisi?

    • cvj on November 12, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    As per Malcolm Gladwell, what matters in matters concerning population is the dependency ratio the effects of which can be seen in the Irish Miracle.

    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/08/28/060828fa_fact

    In the past two decades, for instance, Ireland has gone from being one of the most economically backward countries in Western Europe to being one of the strongest: its growth rate has been roughly double that of the rest of Europe. There is no shortage of conventional explanations. Ireland joined the European Union. It opened up its markets. It invested well in education and economic infrastructure. It’s a politically stable country with a sophisticated, mobile workforce.

    But, as the Harvard economists David Bloom and David Canning suggest in their study of the “Celtic Tiger,” of greater importance may have been a singular demographic fact. In 1979, restrictions on contraception that had been in place since Ireland’s founding were lifted, and the birth rate began to fall. In 1970, the average Irishwoman had 3.9 children. By the mid-nineteen-nineties, that number was less than two. As a result, when the Irish children born in the nineteen-sixties hit the workforce, there weren’t a lot of children in the generation just behind them. Ireland was suddenly free of the enormous social cost of supporting and educating and caring for a large dependent population. It was like a family of four in which, all of a sudden, the elder child is old enough to take care of her little brother and the mother can rejoin the workforce. Overnight, that family doubles its number of breadwinners and becomes much better off. – The Risk Pool, Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 8/23/2006

    The article goes on to say that China right now is on the ‘sweet spot’ of this ratio owing to its draconian population control policy.

  9. Going a bit overboard there Mike:

    “Depends on what you mean by working. For instance, in Japan, and practically every developed nation in Western Europe, it has worked so well that they are going to contacept themselves to extinction, or at least to a situation where intolerable levels of immigration are needed just to keep up current levels of economic activity.”

    Europe’s borders to immigration are closing down… Europe will source wanted labor from the new members of the EU.

    • alas ka dora on November 12, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    “I don’t understand this strong peso line. Does it mean that the peso has more value now?

    Kung ganun, eh bakit mas konti ang nabibili ng pera ko? Hindi ba dapat mas madami ang mabibili ko kung totoo ngang malakas ang piso?

    Umaangal amg asawa ko! Yun dalawang libong pang grocery daw dati ngayon tatlong libo na ang kailangan!”

    Sa na unang thread ito rin ang punto ko, saan at paano kinukwenta ang inflation rate na 2.7% kuno. kasi ang mantika datng 61/liter sa grocery ngayon 67 na. Halos 10% na ang tinaas nyan. Hindi naman luxury good yan. Ang bigas dati may makukuha ka pa na 22 pesos/kilo ngayon ang pinakamura at magmumura ka talaga 26 pesos. Walang kwenta ang 2.7 inflation na pinangamngaldakan nila asan ito? kaya hindi nararamdaman ng mahihirap ang sinasabing economic gains dahil nagtataasan ang mga bilihin pero yung pinadadalang dollar ng mga ofw natin para sa pamilya nila nababawasan ang value pag ipinalit sa piso. Sana i publish nila kung ano ang mga items na kasama sa basket para makuha yung inflation.

    • manuelbuencamino on November 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    anthony scalia,

    “yung di pagkakasya ng shopping budget, sa gobyerno pa ba naman isisisi?”

    Ayaw mo bang malaman kung nagsisiningaling sa iyo ang gobyerno mo?

    • alas ka dora on November 12, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    I must believe that the nation remains in a state of paralysis because despite the magnitude of corruption by the highest power and widespread hunger among the people, we remain unmoved, we could not get mass support for calls to chnage. If snap election is the answer then there should be significant efforts by us to work for it. Ang pinag tataka ko ang lamya ng mga rallies. asan na mga lassalitas, colegialas, ateneans, upians sa kalsada.

    • Willy on November 12, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    cvj,
    There are contending opinions (ww.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005868.html) to Malcolm Gladwells’ Risk Pool:

    “…But Mr Gladwell’s article is flawed in a number of ways…For starters, he attributes Ireland’s success as the “Celtic Tiger” to falling birthrates, which (temporarily) reduced the dependency ratio. He utterly ignores a more parsimonious explanation, which is that Ireland slashed its marginal tax rates in 1987, including a cut in the corporate income tax to 10%, which turned it into Europe’s first outsourcing destination…”

    • Willy on November 12, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    China’s one-child policy is not without serious problems, here is one projection:
    “In less than 30 years, China’s population is expected to peak at 1.5 billion, and then start to shrink. By then, 20 percent of the population will be over age 65, compared with seven percent at present.
    Another effect of the one-child policy, in a society that values sons over daughters, has been to encourage sex-selective abortion and female infanticide. By 2020, there will be about 40 million Chinese men unable to marry, because too few girls will have been born.”

    • Willy on November 12, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    China might have achieved a temporary measure of success with the one-child policy (ww.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1103579,00.html), but at a painful merciless cost:

    “Since 1980, when China began fully carrying out what is commonly known as the one-child policy, officials in the provinces have often resorted to draconian measures–forced sterilizations and late-term abortions among them–to prevent the country’s population of 1.3 billion from expanding into a Malthusian nightmare.”

    • cvj on November 12, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Willy, there is a problem with Jane Galt’s attributing Ireland’s growth acceleration to a single ‘parsimonious’ factor like a tax cut in 1987 because such growth acceleration actually started in 1985. As per Hausmann, Pritchett and Rodrik’s paper on ‘Growth Accelerations’, 1985 was the pivotal year when Ireland’s per capita GDP Growth accelerated from 1.6% to 5%.

    • cvj on November 12, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    As to population policy, we don’t have to resort to China’s draconian measures. The experience in Kerala shows that the most effective way of cutting the birth rate is on educating the women, not on birth control per se, but in terms of general education. If our education policy grants preferential treatment to women, then our population growth rate can go down. Somehow, educated women tend to have less kids. I think this can also be partly attributed to the fact that men are intimidated by women who are perceived to be smarter than them.

    • cvj on November 12, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    For your reference, links to:

    The Celtic Tiger Paper by Canning and Bloom:

    http://www.esr.ie/Vol34_3Bloom.pdf

    Rodrik, Hausmann & Pritchett’s paper on Growth Acceleration:

    ksghome.harvard.edu/~drodrik/growth_accelerations_aug05.pdf

    • Mike on November 13, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Willy: you’re right, it is demographic collapse, and you are seeing it in Japan right this very minute. Not only is the population aging, they will actually lose 60 million people in the next 30 years. They have closed about 2,000 schools and are closing down 300 more every year.

    Wow, corporate income tax in Ireland is only 10%??? We can only dream…

    • Mike on November 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Europe’s borders to immigration are closing down… Europe will source wanted labor from the new members of the EU. – Manila Bay Watch

    Some of it, yes, but a good number of the immigrants are coming from areas such as Muslim northern Africa and the near East (for France, it’s Algeria; for Germany, it’s Turkey). As the riots in France showed, when many of these people refuse to integrate, it can result in vast social turmoil. But these countries have no choice, unless they want to share Japan’s future.

  10. Mike,

    Re: “Some of it, yes, but a good number of the immigrants are coming from areas such as Muslim northern Africa and the near East (for France, it’s Algeria;”

    France is in the process of instituting selective immigration through DNA. Will be tougher to crack that one now. Immigrants from Algeria are not automatically accepted anymore unlike 20 years ago. More difficult these last few years.

    This year from Jan to October, France expelled (brought out of the EU borders back to their countries of origin manu militari) more than 39,000 illegal immigrants up 10% last year in the same period.

    Next year, I reckon that will be 10% higher again. Immigration police have a quota to meet (officiously.)

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