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May 16

Market Stalinism

Via a Twitter from Jon Limjap: Frog Migration: Omen to China Earthquake Disaster. What is emerging is that Earthquake in China struck in 2 stages.

The scale of the tragedy in China has led to people zeroing in on the human cost, and on a person-by-person, family-by-family basis, if possible. James Fallows does this and points to an emerging trend in reportage of the earthquake’s aftermath: how families subjected to the one child policy have been particularly devastated (one BBC report casually mentioned that wealthy families in China ignore the government’s regulations, as they can afford to pay fines for having extra children; that’s a story in itself, I think).

Frog in a Well looks at how the Chinese government’s trying to manage the news, in the light of previous efforts:

During the Yangzi floods a few years ago I remember seeing pictures of PLA troops trying to hold back the water with their bodies, which probably was not very effective as a flood control measure, but did result in pictures of the Army helping the people. Paratroopers are already landing in the quake area.

Proper management of a natural disaster is of course important for states, and people are already drawing comparisons to the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, the bungled handling of which was one factor in the political chaos of that year.

Qian Gang is putting out what I would call the official line, that the time is not right to ask questions…

All I can say is good luck with that. Perhaps the Chinese government is learning the American trick of saying first that the event is too close for us to understand it and then switching to saying that this is old news and we should not live in the past. How well the quake is defused as a political issue depends on a number of things. How well the relief efforts go. How much of the damage was caused by shoddy buildings. (At least some people are already blaming corrupt officials for cutting corners on school construction) How much future damage will be caused by shoddy buildings? (Up to 200 dams were supposedly damaged by the quake. This could end up being a slow motion disaster.) Will the state be seen as insensitive in its handling of the crisis? (Already people are asking that the Olympic torch run/great national celebration of China Power be toned down a bit.) In the next year or so I expect that things will be pretty bleak in the quake areas in part because of the quake and in part because it was a pretty poor rural area to start with. Will this lead to more talk about rural poverty? In the West this will probably be a pretty short media cycle, which may clear up a few questions in our elite media such as “Is Sichuan where Szechuan food comes from” (yes) and “Why is China so stagnant and unchanging?” (Don’t get me started) I expect the Chinese press to be filled with stories of rescue and grief for at least a while, as Qian Gang suggested.

Adam Hanft in The Huffington Post believes that Out of Tragedy, a New Cultural Understanding of China, and lists the evolution of American (and perhaps, Western) views on China:

There have been four modern phases that define the way Americans see the Chinese, four lens of perception.

The first was as opium-smoking Mandarins during the 19th century.

The second lens, which emerged late in the 19th and early in the twentieth century, was that of a feverishly over-populated civilization where human life was meaningless. The Chinese were a “Yellow Peril”, and journalists used that incendiary language to whip us into a frenzy of fear and discrimination.

The third lens, which defined our view during the Communist period — particularly the Cultural Revolution — was that of brainwashed, amoral thought slaves who were able to be manipulated and controlled by Mao…

The fourth lens, our contemporary one, views the Chinese as still amoral, but now 24/7 capitalists, cold, calculating and emotionless. A civilization that is willing to relocate millions, manufacture tainted products in a free-for-all economy and destroy the environment as they play the largest catch-up game in human history.

…The Chinese government, of course, bears some responsibility for this. In their burning desire to both modernize and control, their global image management strategy was to focus on China’s transformational economic success, to restore national pride and never, ever convey weakness or softness or victimization in the process.

One has to wonder, though, whether Filipinos have even gone past whatever images were prevalent in the 19th century, as far as China and the Chinese are concerned. In one sense, I think we have, and that’s in terms of aesthetics, where the J-Pop and K-Pop crazes, telenovelas, and so on, have changed people’s images of what’s desirable and attractive. But at the heart of our attitude to China, I’d still think, is the idea that Chinese society is still an imperial society; and that most of all, a fundamentally anti-capitalist, anti-entrepreneurial, and vaguely xenophobic attitude towards the Chinese still reigns.

There’s this striking passage in China’s All-Seeing Eye: With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export. by Noami Klein in Rolling Stone Magazine:

China today, epitomized by Shenzhen’s transition from mud to megacity in 30 years, represents a new way to organize society. Sometimes called “market Stalinism,” it is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarian communism — central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance — harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism.

…Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)

The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as “Golden Shield.” The end goal is to use the latest people-tracking technology — thoughtfully supplied by American giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — to create an airtight consumer cocoon: a place where Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cellphones, McDonald’s Happy Meals, Tsingtao beer and UPS delivery (to name just a few of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics) can be enjoyed under the unblinking eye of the state, without the threat of democracy breaking out.

A slightly different interpretation of what the Chinese authorities are up to, is presented by Professor Mitchell Langbert:

The Chinese have decided to imitate American economic progress. But they have chosen to imitate the wrong thing. American economic success has come in spite of, not because of, government development schemes. In particular, the US government and the states granted large amounts of land and access rights to railroads in the nineteenth century. Although railroads contributed to economic development, they did so at much higher cost to the public than was necessary. The public donations of land were accompanied by considerable incompetence and corruption. More railroads were built than were needed. In today’s world, the corruption associated with land grants has not disappeared. The Progressives of the early twentieth century believed that by rationalizing the corruption of the political bosses, government support for business could be rationalized and made honest. In the Progressive tradition, Robert Moses in New York and similar social democratic Progressives in other states involved state and federal governments in considerable grants to business. This tradition is not why America has succeeded. America has succeeded in spite of government support for business. Sadly, the Chinese have chosen to imitate the Jay Gould/Robert Moses tradition. They are attempting to modernize their country through government support for development coupled with inflation.

The way that America did succeed in developing its economy was entrepreneurship. Freedom of enterprise not only permitted entrepreneurial genius to innovate here, but also drew entrepreneurial geniuses from other countries. For instance, Nikola Tesla came to the United States because Europeans refused to invest in his concept of A/C electricity. Thomas Edison, Jonah Salk and an endless list of homegrown and immigrant innovators came here because of American freedom. But a long list of social democrats, media pundits, quack academic economists and socialists have done all they can to destroy America’s freedom.

The development that occurred because of Jay Gould, Robert Moses and Bruce Ratner, the successor to the governmental welfare approach to business, is not the development that made America a great country. Rather, America became a great country in spite of Jay Gould, Robert Moses and Bruce Ratner. In the case of Robert Moses, the public housing on which he squandered billions of dollars and was supported by the New York Times caused massive increases in crime, destruction of neighborhoods and the near-bankruptcy of New York City in the mid 1970s. Jay Gould’s and his contemporaries’ railroads were incompetently run and cost the nation far more than they should have. Despite the massive tax on innovation that corrupt government support for business has posed, the US surged ahead because of the innovation of men like Edison and Tesla. The entrepreneur, free of government impediment and government welfare subsidy, thinks of ways to meet consumer needs and so makes himself wealthy and the world wealthier still.

In “Asian Godfathers” (Joe Studwell) the author basically argues that Harry Lee (alias Lee Kwan Yew) advocates 19th Century European ideas of eugenics, camouflaged as native pride (from this online excerpt from his book):

If anything, Chinese-ness is rather trendy in Southeast Asia these days, sometimes bizarrely so. The theaters of Bangkok’s original Chinatown are thriving, even though most of the players are now Laotian, the Chinese having moved on to better-paid work. Under Thaksin, most Thai Rak Thai election candidates made a point of putting their name in Chinese characters on their election posters.

All this owes a lot to China’s economic rise, and to a desire to be seen to be in tune with what is presently perceived as “the future”, but it also reflects a waning of the capacity of indigenous elites to divide and rule their subjects. Time – since the end of large-scale immigration before the Second World War – has been both a healer and an educator.

In the Philippines, race is a non-issue. Hong Kong has become a far more culturally relaxed, mature and integrated society since the end of colonialism in 1997. The exceptions are Chinese-majority Singapore, where Harry Lee Kuan-Yew will likely take his dreary eugenic theories to the grave, and Malaysia, where the still relatively even demographic balance between ethnic Chinese and bumiputras allows the indigenous (if this term is still meaningful) political elite to plunder the country in the name of positive discrimination. Nonetheless, around the region, the race relations story is a very positive one.

A critical review of Studwell’s book by Richard North describes Studwell’s view:

Studwell tries to persuade us that historic circumstance even more than culture or genes accounts for the power of the Chinese Godfathers. Indeed, Studwell is keen to point out that the Chinese Godfathers are much more apparently than actually Chinese: they are “chameleon” – as though they are uncertain whether to promote or disguise their ethnicity. He is especially fierce about anyone who claims there is something Confucian about the Chinese Godfathers or their form of capitalism. Indeed, he sees the ethnic posing of the likes of Lee Kuan Yew, erstwhile Prime Minister of Singapore, as a sort of social manipulation, which enjoins workers to be obedient and quiescent in case something damages the special but fragile economy in which they toil.

China at the very least, doesn’t have a government people would classify as weird. But in the Encyclopedia Britannica blog, Robert McHenry asks, in the case of Burma, what do you do when a government’s obviously insane?

Closer to home, The Asia Sentinel reports on Malaysia’s LingamGate,

A royal commission appointed to investigate Malaysia’s judicial system has concluded that the country’s courts have been subject to widespread fixing of judicial appointments that corrupted decisions at the behest of ranking politicians.

The report has not been released and, given its political sensitivity – involving, for instance, allegations of judicial abuses by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad – it is posing serious problems for the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the United Malays National Organisation…

However, the report appears to confirm what has been widely reported so far on b logs and in the press — and that is that the court system was almost entirely in the thrall of politicians with close ties to businessmen. The commission was appointed last year after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim made public an eight-minute segment of a 2002 videotape showing the well-connected lawyer VK Lingam in conversation with Ahmad Fairuz, then the country’s third-ranking judge. The release of the videotape played a major role in energizing opposition to the ruling Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition of ethnic parties, in elections earlier this year that wiped out the coalition’s historic two-thirds majority and resulted in its biggest defeat since independence.

You may want to check out Mahathir Mohamad’s blog, to see how he’s reacting to the issue.

atheista.net makes an appeal to ignore the 100 pound Gorrell-a in the blogosphere. Fair enough but what makes this appeal interesting to me is that it reveals the limitations of the entire effort to identity the “top 10 emerging blogs.” The criteria are subjective and nearly every blogger trying to propose blogs for consideration has to wrestle with the dilemma of is the process about identifying up-and-coming blogs with influence, or is it about endorsement, is it a wish list or an objective identification? Also of interest to me is this concern with “reputation,” as far as the blogosphere is concerned, which only proves that bloggers outside media aren’t immune to the fierce self-identification with a specific platform that accounts for so much antagonism between platforms.

Meanwhile, from some time back, BuzzMachine on Tearing down the news-opinion divide.

So opinion crosses a media divide: How can you write a blog without a human voice? And once you import stuff from that blog, even a Times blog, into print, you’ve brought in a human voice — that is, one with a stated perspective — into a publication that has prided itself on having no perspective. Heh.

There’s another divide to consider here, an organizational divide. Don’t forget that at The Times and many American newspapers, there’s a wall between business and editorial and another wall between the newsroom and the editorial page. The silly conceit of this is that opinion can be relegated to and imprisoned in the walls and pages of an editorial department: They own opinion and nobody else is allowed to have any — and that is the inoculation that has, historically, preserved the news department’s own conceit that it is objective: See, we don’t do opinion, those people over there do.

So one has to ask what the difference is between Andrew Sorkin and Paul Krugman except that Sorkin is paid to spend more of his time reporting with more sources. So — no offense to Krugman; I just picked the most convenient beat — but what whose opinion/perspective/viewpoint is more useful? If we take the argument that newspapers make against blogs — they just have opinions; they don’t report — that would give the contest to Sorkin, now that he is allowed to have opinions. So what’s the point of having opinion-page columnists? Why not just have reporters who can also share their perspective?

There’s another opinion divide to consider: inside v. outside. What about those bloggers? As newspapers get relationships with them — The Times has taken Freakonomics under its wing and the Washington Post today announced it is syndicating TechCrunch onto its side (as it syndicates my PrezVid) — one need wonder about their opinions. They have them. Michael Arrington certainly has them — including opinions about mainstream newspapers, we should remember. So how does that fit with the news-opinion divide? I was surprised to learn recently that Freakonomics is under The Times’ Opinion section. Why? The Post put TechCrunch stories on its technology news page. What’s the difference: prissiness, as Nick says, or turf battles? (And by the way, in all these cases, I think a network relationship is smarter than a syndicated relationship — but that’s the subject of another post another day.)

Which brings us to RG Cruz in his blog. See RG’s entry for today:

IF I am to believe everything that ive been hearing so far, then I would think that Ping got Joe to divulge THE pictures, that this alex guy is a but a front to Joe who is still neither here nor there if he’s gonna spill the beans on Mike and Gloria, that Joe is getting from Gina and Joey big time, except that Joe is afraid he’s gonna go to jail if he does spill the beans (thats why he flew overseas), that the blackened figure in one of the pictures isnt ben but a tourist, that all this drama now is but part of a big scheme to bankrupt a family corporation to ease some pressure on certain individuals.

That—is if im to believe everything ive heard so far. DO i? Jury is still out.

Fair enough.Two reporters -Jove Francisco and RG Cruz- are good examples of the points raised by BuzzMachine above: the value of having reporters not only do reporting, but have the freedom to blog and present their personal take on things.

Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy this article on a family feud involving oil millionaires going on in Texas: Oil in the Family.

97 comments

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  1. jude

    Bencard, your arrogance is pathetic. Are you white, brown or a coconut? I would think the latter, which are the most vitriolic kind of racists because they are neither here nor there and are insecure. Just like Michelle Maglalang Malkin.

    These are the proverbial flies that sit on top of the carabao and consequently think that they, too, are carabaos.

  2. cvj

    Brianb, if it is true, as you say that the elite are influenced by racial thinking, i don’t think it necessarily follows that we should do the same. Unlike Malaysia, the Philippines and Filipinos are too mixed for any racially or ethnically-based affirmative action to be practicable.

  3. BrianB

    cvj,

    Did I ever say we should. MLQ was jumping to conclusions. My contention is that racism is an undefined problem in this country. Undefined because unacknowledged. It did take a while before it hot me but once it did the idea couldn’t be dislodged. So far I haven’t heard of any argument that disproves it. The elite devotes much of their energy manipulating and controlling a people of a different race.

    I’m certainly not advocating ethnic cleansing but if the raison d’etre of much of the social structure is racial prejudice, this has to be pointed out.

  4. cvj

    UPn, Singapore imitated Stalin. Stalinist Russia was the Singapore of its day.

  5. Bencard

    jude:
    ad hominem will not get you anywhere, punk. what makes you sound so self-righteous? if you are in the states, crawl back to the earth hole you came from. if i sit on top of the carabao, at least i’m thankful enough not suck its blood and hate my host. you and the likes of you would do anything to come to america then when you’re here malign it, hate it and even side with its enemies. if being afraid for my and my family’s welfare is racist, then i guess i am.

  6. cvj

    Brianb, thanks for your clarification because i also got the same impression as mlq3 when you first came out swinging against the ‘mestizos’ sometime back. I think a better way to combat racial prejudice of the elite (and everyone else) is to expose the ignorance of superiority/inferiority based on the concept of ‘race’.

  7. BrianB

    cvj,

    How? Media is full of mestizos, non-mestizos have already adopted the belief they are inferior, our national heroes are mestizos.

    Swinging. You mean kill all mestizos? Well, by the looks of it, I think the land owners will kill to maintain the rights to real estate they do not legitimately own. What are we prepared to do?

    Besides, our situation is different from the US. In the US, racism is directed against minorities. Our case resembles our colonial past. We remain a colony now run by the inheritors by the Spanish.

  8. BrianB

    cvj,

    How? Media is full of mestizos, non-mestizos have already adopted the belief they are inferior, our national heroes are mestizos.

    Swinging. You mean kill all mestizos? Well, by the looks of it, I think the land owners will kill to maintain the rights to real estate they do not legitimately own. What are we prepared to do?

    Besides, our situation is different from the US. In the US, racism is directed against minorities. Our case resembles our colonial past. We remain a colony now run by the inheritors of the Spanish.

  9. BrianB

    Here, caught plagiarizing:

    “This columnist apologizes for her failure to attribute to Joan Didion several lines in the second to the last paragraph of her May 4 column—“Born to run.” This article was written on a South East Asian Press Alliance fellowship.”

    Used Joan Didion’s title without attributing it to her. Why don’t college professors teach their students that copy and pasting is not the only form of plagiarism.

    Oddly, her column before that is “Plagiarized.”

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/columnist/?colid=2569

    I think the problem is that our culture just doesn’t understand originality. I believe many so-called literary and art experts believe “original” is synonymous to “ugly.” I remember college English when our prof (old guy always wearing sandals) can’t get enough of a student composition that merely paraphrases many popular author, mixing them all in two pages of “mediocre” argument. Give them an idea they’ve never heard of before and they’ll react in two ways: 1st. no reaction at all; 2nd, telling you they don’t get it.

    I’m not saying here that patricia deliberately plagiarized but I think she doesn’t know enough that Joan Didion’s works are not popular enough to be taken for granted (as hers) without proper attribution.

  10. cvj

    Brianb, i think we can start by separating the scientific from the non-scientific. In itself,’mestizo’ is not really scientific, in the sense that it is not based on a rigorous biological concept. If we’re talking genetics, the term ‘mestizo’ is both too narrow and too broad a classification. The scientific way would be to classify according to DNA (y-DNA for men and mitochondrial DNA for both men and women) markers). If we do that, we’ll see that there is little distinction in the mix of genetic profiles between the elites and the masa.

    If illegitimately acquired (and held) real-estate is your beef (as is mine), the more straightforward and precise way would be to identify these landholders and treat them as a group irrespective of extraneous categories such as ‘race’.

    As the example of the People’s Republic of China shows, and which UPn Student based on his comment above at May 17th, 2008 at 9:20 pm seems to be keen on making us forget, eliminating land inequality [aka the landed oligarchs] has often been a necessary first step to national economic development.

  11. UP n student

    Albert Einstein:

    “the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.”

  12. UP n student

    Above cut-and-paste is from New York Times article :

    Einstein Letter on God Sells for $404,000
    May 17, 2008

    From the grave, Albert Einstein poured gasoline on the culture wars between science and religion this week.

    A letter the physicist wrote in 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, in which he described the Bible as “pretty childish” and scoffed at the notion that the Jews could be a “chosen people,” sold for $404,000 at an auction in London. That was 25 times the presale estimate.
    ….
    Einstein, as he says in his autobiographical notes, lost his religion at the age of 12, concluding that it was all a lie, and he never looked back. But he never lost his religious feeling about the apparent order of the universe or his intuitive connection with its mystery, which he savored. “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is its comprehensibility,” he once said.

    “If something is in me that can be called religious,” he wrote in another letter, in 1954, “then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as science can reveal it.”

    Trying to distinguish between a personal God and a more cosmic force, Einstein described himself as an “agnostic” and “not an atheist,” which he associated with the same intolerance as religious fanatics. “They are creatures who — in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium for the people’ — cannot bear the music of the spheres.”

    The problem of God, he said, “is too vast for our limited minds.”

  13. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    KG,
    I see. I had worked on ATI’s grain terminal project (as contractor) in Bataan, and supplied the power controllers for their big crane in South Harbor. I met with the man (RRA) on several occasions before Smith’s group took over.

    I had also experienced joining one PPA lutong-makaw bidding for the MICT. I believe I was the lowest bidder based on the design which favored my French supplier’s house specs. To cut the story short, I was only second lowest – surprisingly (or not surpisingly, in the case of PPA) for a multi-million project, the winner was cheaper by less than 500 pesos than mine. Garapal.

  14. Bencard

    that’s it, upn, the concept of God is too incomprehensible for our puny human mind, no matter how gifted. that’s why faith tells us that He sent His own Son to become one of us for us to know Him. Jesus is the bridge, the way, the ‘blog server’, if you will.

  15. UP n student

    to cvj and BrianB: Hugo Chavez has a blueprint that GMA can follow on how to take control of allegedly illegitimately- :neutral: held tracts of land. Just last month, Venezuela’s land-officials accompanied by National Guard troops seized control of 30 sugarcane plantations in central Venezuela that have been classified as “idle” under a nationwide land reform initiative. Authorities seized control of the plantations spanning 2,400 hectares (5,900 acres) as part of a land reform program aimed at turning dormant :razz: farmlands over to peasants.
    ———-
    I think what Hugo Chavez asks is for land-owners to prove accuracy of the land titles, “accuracy” to mean a paper-trail on a three-hundred year title-history of the tracts of land. If there is no paper trail, then the land is dormant and free to be taken control by anybody who has National Guard soldiers to back them up.

  16. BrianB

    CVJ, Up N,

    Any land acquired during the Spanish era or bought from Spanish era acquisition should be deemed stolen estate.

  17. UP n student

    Brazil has a different model regarding land reform.

    Holding a title is not good enough; BRAZIL began requiring a test of whether the land was “serving its social function.” If it can be proven that land is held fraudulently or is not being used productively (i.e. it does not generate enough income // does not provide enough tax-payments to the government), or that it is not being used in accordance with labor and conservation laws, a counter-claimant can move onto it and serve legal notice in demand of title.

  18. UP n student

    “…counter-claimant can move into it” means that squatters can move onto the property. [Unless, of course, property-owners have some means to eject, or to prevent squatters from moving in.]

  19. UP n student

    Does the Pinas have idle land (land that does not generate income)?

  20. UP n student

    For a description of why land-reform was effective in China (landlord “format”) and much less effective in Latin America (“hacienda format”), click here:

    http://www.worldbank.org/html/dec/Publications/Workpapers/wps2000series/wps2040/wps2040-abstract.html

    The same World Bank study also downplays “economies of scale” for farming as it states:

    A large body of research has demonstrated the existence of a robustly negative relationship
    between farm size and productivity due to the supervision cost associated with employing hired labor. This
    implies that redistribution of land from wage-operated large farms to family-operated smaller ones can
    increase productivity

  21. hvrds

    On unknowns running for President of the United States.

    “The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to being ranked as America’s worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow.” George Will, Washington Post

  22. Bencard

    in the case of obama, it’s not so much that he is “unknown” as what is known about his choice of heroes, mentors and associates is not too good, as far as i can see.

    what can one expect from an ultra-liberal george will?

  23. KG

    Toungue,
    My turn to say,Oh I see.

    going back to Razon, I have reviewed my past comments on this blog and I said something about Razon trying to sneek in ATI to take over from dubai by reviving an anti dummy law suit,but it did not work.

    I also said something about Razon’s fund raising during that zte hearings; afterall,he is the treasurer of Team Unity.BTW ,on him pressuring neri on Harbour centre’s plan on having container operations,sa mga pinaghirapan nya baka di lang over my dead body ang nasabi nya.

    On lutong macao biddings, I can empathize with you:

    My father and his friend , classmate and tukayo congressman Plaridel Abaya(co-author of the procurement law) chose one foreign funded project,which was a result of lutong macao bidding ,and asked the supreme court to do some ruling about foreign funded projects and procurement law.

    Si Nachura pa ang nagconvince sa kanila na ituloy ito nung di pa sya justice . sa supreme court din pala ang bagsak nya. Atty Harry Roque did his best,but procurement was not his cup of tea.wala din,si nachura naman wala ding magawa ,sino nga ba naman ang naglagay sa kanya dun.

    Ngayon me iba silang inaaasikaso ,yung bidding sa Marikina infanta road naman,with what happened in the supreme court,sariling sikap na lang.

  24. hvrds

    “what can one expect from an ultra-liberal george will?”

    Wow, George Will will be very gald to know that someone on this planet considers him an ultra liberal.

    Honed in the very best traditions of conservative philosophy this icon of conservatism in the U.S. would be really pleased. That would make William Buckley also a hard core lefty.

    It is sad that many transpalnted pinoys never really immersed themselves in the history of democratic traditions in the U.S. The Jeffersonian type that is. After the Civil War the South went democrat because of Lincoln the Republican.

    After LBJ, the South went Republican of because of Johnson’s push for Civil rights.

    That became the crux of the Republican’s Southern strategy. Nixon played up the God and country issue that worked well for him. That brought in the religious fudamentalists. The rise of the Christian Hezbollah movement started with Nixon and now this a well thought out startegy for every election.

    The KKK, the neo-nazi’s, the Timothy McVeighs are all part and parcel of this movement to the extreme right.

    Plus this from MOJO…

    “John McCain has been forced to cut ties with two campaign staffers recently because of their ties to the military junta in Burma. The first, Doug Goodyear, was the man McCain had selected to run the 2008 Republican convention. Goodyear is the chief executive of DCI Group, a lobbying firm that was paid $348,000 in 2002 to improve the junta’s image in America and to push the federal government to improve relations with the notorious human rights abusers. The second, Doug Davenport, was a regional campaign manager for McCain who helped found DCI Group and served as head of its lobbying practice, where he also worked for the junta.”

    “This is a great example of (1) why lobbying is so freaking toxic, and (2) how, if you build your campaign machinery with lobbyists in dozens of key positions, you run into problems.”
    “But the problem isn’t just Dougs Goodyear and Davenport. The watchdog group Campaign Money Watch is now calling for three more McCain staffers to resign because of connections to distasteful foreign regimes:”

    “Charlie Black, whose lobbying firm represented human rights abusers like Philipines President Ferdinand Marcos, Zaire dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, Somalia’s Mohamed Siad Barre and Nigeria’s Ibrahim Babangida, as well as foreign oil interests like the Chinese government’s CNOOC. Black currently serves McCain as a spokesman and senior counsel;”
    “Tom Loeffler, whose firm has made more than $10 million since 2006 for lobbying for the Saudi Arabian monarchy and oil interests. Loeffler serves as McCain’s national finance chairman; and”
    “Peter Madigan, a lobbyist whose firm received $800,000 to represent the United Arab Emirates in a class action suit over allegations that boys are enslaved and forced to be camel jockeys. He is also is a former lobbyist for Shell Oil. Madigan serves as a top fundraiser for McCain.”

    Myanmmar is a major supplier of natural gas to India, China and Thailand. This was primarily set up by a U.S. company.

    A polemical Black preacher in the U.S. is a lot scarier than these guys? You gotta be kidding….

  25. Dude

    tough luck, bencard. by all indications, your next president is someone who’s not gonna look like george washington or george bush. so you have about six months to make this hard choice – pack up now and go back to bikol or get gassed later in connecticut. the next reich will have no place for some monkeys who think they are white guys when not in front of the mirror.

    george will an ultra-liberal? maryosep.if you are in a hole, stop digging old man.

  26. jude

    Bencard’s statements:

    “don’t give me this old baloney about “resentment and hatred” towards america. as long as america is the number one most powerful nation in this globe, there will always be envy, hatred and bitterness from covetous wannabees who would blow themselves up just to satisfy themselves that americans also bleed. and don’t you be too cocky about 9/11 as though it was a triumph of good over evil. you obviously don’t know what you are talking about.”

    “ad hominem will not get you anywhere, punk. what makes you sound so self-righteous? if you are in the states, crawl back to the earth hole you came from”

    “if obama represents those people in america who thinks the way you do, then i really have to be scared.”

    “if being afraid for my and my family’s welfare is racist, then i guess i am.”

    As can be seen from those statements, the arrogance speaks for itself. It is pathetic when fear becomes a person’s driving force. When charity and hope are replaced by suspicion and greed. There are many Americans who are as bigoted and pigheaded as Bencard. But there are also many who are charitable and benevolent. American policies don’t reflect its people. They are crafted by a few in the corridors of power who, in the past 25 years, unfortunately are as arrogant and belligerent as Bencard the self-proclaimed racist. The fly who has delusions of becoming a carabao.

    As for 9/11, perhaps Bencard, with his guilty conscience, thinks it was a triumph of good vs. evil. What can be said about 9/11 is that the unilateral and belligerent American foreign policy was not able to prevent it. Keeping a flawed policy and doing it over and over again is, by Einstein’s definition, insanity. So by definition, those who advocate this failed policy, such as Bush, Cheney, McCain and Bencard (this time he’s the fly in the garbage heap), must be wacko!

  27. mlq3

    george will is many things but ultra liberal he’s never been!

  28. UP n student

    Jude: You’re an American voter, so how do you describe US foreign policy post 9/11? Does it appear to you to be different from pre 9/11 US foreign policy?

    And how different do you think an Obama administration will react if another organization were to to do a mass-murder attack against a USA site?

  29. Bencard

    hey jude,
    so i’m a racist because i don’t trust obama who happens to be black, huh? when i say i don’t think he would be a good president for america because of his declared policy of appeasement of america’s enemies who want to kill americans, and his close relationships with homegrown haters of america, does that make me a “racist” because obama is not white? that argument is no different from a black man convicted of a serial crime and whose main defense is “racism, racism”.

    why in tarnation would i have any “guilty conscience” about 9/11. as i recall, i have never given any encouragement to those mad bombers. is that the best you can do – put the blame on the victims?

    and who elect those “few in the corridors of power”? isn’t the majority of the american people? so, is that why they were indiscriminately massacred? and who do you think you are you to appraise america’s way of doing what it thinks is best for it, a “flawed policy”?

    whatever, i say fear or distrust of a candidate is a legitimate consideration in choosing a president. the fact that he is black is irrelevant and immaterial.

  30. Bencard

    about george will, i stand corrected, mlq3. it was a slip of the brain, not the keyboard. as a clintonian democrat, i used to dislike him.

  31. Bencard

    correction: not dislike HIM as a person, but his ultra-conservative views.

  32. Dude

    face the facts bencard, your knowledge of US politics is very supeficial. if you don’t know anything, shut up.

    remember too, “ad hominem will not get you anywhere, punk.”

    how do you define appeasement anyway?

  33. vic

    The line between Conservatism and Liberalism among today’s political parties is razor thin line..in our political scene perspective. The current Ruling Party, The Conservative, just abolished Donations from Corporations and Businesses for Election campaign funds and all should now come from Individuals donation alone. Also suspended Lobbying in Federal Legislation for 5 years until a law clarifying the guidelines for Lobbying is enacted after a few scandals relating to Corporate Lobbying..that is the domain of Liberals and Social Democrats. The only thing that remains Conservative is the slashing of Taxes that may soon see a budget deficit if the looming recession hits North. At the moment a surplus is still predicted..

  34. Bencard

    dude, so you think you are smarter because i was wrong about george will, huh? my, oh my! o.k., you’re a genius. now, get lost!

  35. Dude

    This is what you wrote bencard: “better the devil that you know than one you don’t. and i’m not about to waste my time trying to learn about a candidate inside and out especially when there is not much relevant things to know about him. the u.s. presidency is too important to be left to chance in the hands of a smooth-talking but largely unknown entity with nothing to offer but “hope” and promises. remember hitler.”

    it’s not that you are wrong bencard. you are simply ignorant. today the US has an idiot for a president. as you said ‘the u.s. presidency is too important to be left to chance.’ today it has the opportunity to consider an alternative who’s a university lecturer, a Harvard law magna cum laude graduate, a former Harvard law review president and a man for all season. without bothering ‘to learn about the candidate inside and out,’ you have the chutzpa to compare him to Hitler when you can’t even tell a george will from george is. have some self-respect, take a hike and have some serious reflection in what you believe in and come back here when you are sober.

  36. Bencard

    one more time and i’m through with you, mr. “genius” dude. i know about obama’s personal academic achievement but a “man for all seasons”?? by whose standard? what is his KNOWN record of public service? a state senator of an ordinary state, a junior u.s. senator who has barely got his feet wet. what else? what bill of national importance has he sponsored and got approved? has he held any kind of executive position in his life, public or private, significant enough to qualify him to be the chief executive of arguably the greatest and most powerful nation on earth? yes, the american voters can elect him. but can they give him the necessary experience to assume the presidency competently from day one?

    yes, maybe i’m ignorant. then educate me by answering those questions, mr. smart guy.

  37. Bencard

    btw, i did not compare obama to hitler. read back my post. i mentioned hitler, in response to jude, because hitler also inspired many gullible germans with his demagogic “hope” and “change”, leading to the 3rd reich and the holocaust. charisma doesn’t necessarily translate to good leadership. as perot said, when you buy a car, don’t just rely on its outside appearance. look under the hood – it could be empty.

  38. Dude

    yes read back your post bec you still have not justified your atrocious comparison of obama with hitler. by your own standards, that’s a shameful ad hominem.

    the claim that the other two contenders are ready from day one is not even original. pls have the decency to make attribution. you admit it’s a waste of your time to bother knowing about obama, and now that i told you about him, you now say that you know his achievements after all. great!

    you still have explaining to do about what is meant by appeasement. you’re sure you know want ‘a man for all seasons’ means? clue, that’s what distinguishes obama from your girl hilary and john mccain. and that’s what the strongest nation of the world needs for a leader to if it is to regain its moral ascendancy in the wotrld.

  39. Bencard

    dude (or whatever), by the manner in which you distort my post, i think i know who you are. i’ve dealt with you before and i concluded that you are not worthy of any decent discussion. nothing has changed as far as that is concerned. go and debate with your cohorts with same 5-year old child’s intelligence as yours.

  40. Dude

    you know me? you really do bencard? wow! i don’t even know you, and have i really dealt with you before? if this is the way you want to end this debate fine. one thing is clear to me and to a couple of commenters here in the way they responded to you. you fear and distrust black people bec you are a bigot.

  41. mang_kiko

    kong sa akin lang ang manga Amerikanos sa kabu-uhan ay lampas na sa panahon nang Racism at Bigotry, liban lamang sa manga pang sarili (“privately”)na medyo naiwan pa sa manga iba, pero yan ay di kaipekto sa “Overall scheme of things”.

    ang contest na ma-ari maging basehan nang botante sa susunod na Eleksyon, hindi sa Race nang Kandidatos, kundi sa programa na makatulong makaahon nang Ekonomiya nang Amerika.

    So far puro personality issues ang lumalabas.sa foreign affairs naman ang kailangan nang Amerika, paano mairosolbar ang involvement sa Iraq, andiyan ang issue nang Iran na ma-ari pumutok anytime, kailangan huwag pabaya-an lumala, dahil mas delikado ito kaysa al queda at ang esstyle nang Amerika na panakot di masyado pinapansin,dahil di na lang sila ang may kaya pareho nang dati. andiyan na ang China, Russia at iba pa na handa maglaro nang parti na dati Amerika lang ang may kaya…

  42. UP n student

    to MangKiko:

    My perception is that the USA will respond to a threat from Iran differently from how Bush responded to (the thought of a) WMD-threat from Saddam. One of the reasons — that the Iranian citizens do not want the US (or any other nation) to “free them” from their current rulers.

    However, if a mass-murder action against USA is traced to the Iranian government, then I believe that the US will swiftly topple that Iranian government (no matter what China or the United Nations says). I believe that this (to topple any government that supports a mass-murder terrorist action against US) will be done be it Obama, McCain or Hillary as next US president.

  43. Bencard

    upn, your perception makes sense but if there is papable evidence that iran is arming itself for all-out annihilation of americans and/or the israelis (as when nuclear warheads are deployed against either or both nations), don’t you think u.s is justified in preempting such a “mass-murder action” by pulverizing it? true to his words, obama might insist on “negotiating” first and then reacting after it happens a la 9/11. i’m sure the far left of the democratic party under obama will not allow preemption at any cost, and with the help of the unsympathetic u.n., can effectively prevent such a move.

  44. UP n student

    Bencard: Last September, 2007, Israel destroyed a building in Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad has said Israel bombed an “unused military building” in the Sept. 6 raid. Israel has been extremely secretive about the affair, but the understanding is that Israeli aircraft attacked a partially-built nuclear reactor (about 3 years away from completion) deep inside Syria.

    —————-
    Barack Obama did not protest at all, either because he agreed with the pre-emptive strike or because he was not following the news.

  45. UP n student

    Even if it appears that she won’t get it, I still believe that Hillary Clinton is the better candidate and the one that the Democrats should field against McCain.

  46. leytenian

    If Obama wins as the presidential democratic candidate, all votes for Hillary might go to McCain.

    If Hillary will represent the democratic party, she may have a chance to win over McCain but Bill, her husband may run the country like Philippines in terms of decision making.
    I believe, Hillary will cut the budget for healthcare ( change to Universal healthcare)and cut the budget for international security. Just like what Clinton did during his terms. He was credited due to budget surplus but it created a big laxity of border security ,giving easy access to terrorist attack.

    Bush clean up his mess by putting more people back to the security work force including airport equipments, immigrations and many more. The Budget surplus was not enough to even repair the total damage. And there’s Greenspan with his low interest rates during the Seller’s real estate market.

    In terms of Iraq, US needs oil. Just like China wants a piece of our Spratley’s. The demand of oil is high at least in the next coming years. After that, the economy may repait by itself at least for the US money system. When the dollar is low, it attracts foreign investor to invest in the US, an increase of money supply may be created.
    I was in Vegas for a week. Almost every table of blackjack or poker has a Canadian tourist. Most of them said… the US dollar is low and it’s cheaper to visit the USA. Same thing in Disneyworld… Orlando is packed with tourists from all over the world. The hotel and restaurant industries are making little profit but employment in these sector have increased. It helps employ the unemployed people in the real estate and mortgage industry. The dollar may slowly continue to slide upward and Hillary will take the credit of stabilizing the economy if she wins. If not, then McCain is a better president than Bush.

    just my opinion, i do remember someone said that the economy will repair by itself at least every 10 years.

  47. Eustaquio Joven

    This post’s for the blog you share with JNery. How do I find it?

    What do you mean by, which letter comes close to my opinion? Both of them are just what I ordered. I know I can always rely on my Sancho Panchas from De la Salle and Ateneo. I, poor Quixote, am ready to do battle as soon as they can untie and harness my speedy carabao. Be quick and ready with my dull bolo my loyal vassals. Never mind that it’s rusty with non-use. Set aside NCAA or UAAP. We have windmills to tear down.
    No, I think they are not windmills. Windmills are good and beautiful. They are bad and ugly. They are the cyclone that wrought havoc on Myanmar and the tsunami that nearly obliterated Thailand. But then again, I have to apologize to those acts of God. Comparatively, they are not really that destructive. As ERAP would say, they just passed away. Our monsters just wouldn’t!
    And now they are readying for another wallop. This time they call it federalism. At a time when we are busy trying to get those pests off our shoulders, they are poised to add 46 more Senators and 100 more Congressmen! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine the staggering cost of 11 new bureaucracies. Imagine the locusts that will fill it up! All for what?
    To defang Imperial Manila… to distribute wealth power more equitably… to multiply and disperse more growth areas… and to make peace with separatists by giving them a governments of their own! Ganoon nga ba ‘yon? I have news for them, especially Senator Pimentel, the father of local autonomy. There is nothing that federalism can do that local autonomy can’t do better. Actually, local autonomy is federalism without its costs and unwieldiness.

    Does this fit into the letters’ motherhood statements? I wish CDCP sees me standing up to answer its call for communal action. But I have to sit down for now. My arthritis is killing me. Anyway, I think the bishops have discarded that God inspired letter.

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