New Year’s cheers and jeers

Leave it to BuzzMachine to pan year ender predictions, wrapups, and top ten lists, all in the same entry!

But while we’re at it, let’s peek at other people’s lists: on The Best Links of 2005 and the rest of the best (links).

Madame Chiang on the good, the bad, and the totally ridiculous.

RG Cruz on his persons of the year.

Disenchanted Forest on the 10 Worst Americans of 2005.

The New Web on a CNN poll of the best of the web (WiFi! Skype! Google!).

Heckler at Large with Predictions for 2006.

Bulletproof Vest on 10 top changes for a balikbayan.

And interesting bits o’ reading:

Every New Year, half of all Germans sit down in front of the TV to watch an obscure British comedy skit. Courtesy of Slate, you can watch the skit online, or read the skit script.

Read about  US plans to invade Canada.

And in closing, the blogging phenomenon that finally made it’s mark here at home in 2005. Yuga presents 2005 Philippine Blogging in Review.

But journalist Kathleen Parker compares bloggers to the children in Lord of the Flies. Angry buzzing from the blogosphere in response.

Happy New Year! Will be on break for a couple of days; the Liberal Party short history is way behind schedule.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

39 thoughts on “New Year’s cheers and jeers

  1. Happy 2006, Mr. Quezon!

    Miss Kathleen Parker seems to be overreacting a bit.

    Most “bloggies” talk about only one thing: the bloggers themselves. It’s mostly shallow thoughts on shallow things, and yes, there may be hate, but the hate’s also shallow, gone by the next day’s entry.

    I do agree with the “ignoring them us” part, though. We’re just there for the space, the web designing experience, and for the suckers who can get bored enough to read about our silly little lives.

    But I don’t even want to get into that comment about how Lord of the Flies was Lord of the Flies because there was no adult supervision. But I did get into it. There were no grownups, but there was wisdom in that group of boys stranded in that island. Piggy and Jack were the voices of democracy, swallowed up by anarchy, but still, democracy. Have a little more faith in the young. And let’s not forget that Lord of the Flies was a commentary on society, not on children being left to their own devices to kill other children who don’t agree with them.

  2. It’s new year’s day

    Noticed that the sky is not that smokey compared to prior years
    Maybe even the rich felt the economic crunch usually in the morning there are still left over explosive pyros…

    I have a very silly question if the world is in recession where does all the money go? IMF?World Bank?the rest of the banks???

    then the world is not in recession because the banks still have the money

    that is why there are still bank robbery movies until now..just saw a trailer of another bank robbery…..

    Happy New Year and hope no one had a minor or major accident last night….

    don’t want to read the news I might sing U2…

    I can’t believe the news today..Sunday Bloody sunday….On New year’s Day!

    Bono of U2 is like the international version of our freedom from debt coalition…

    All is quiet on New Year’s Day!

  3. Happy New Year to All!!!!
    We have lots of good things working for us.
    It’s up to us to make good use of positive developments & make them work for us.

  4. Even if the banks still have the money, in a recession, it is not being lent out as much to businesses where it can be used to do some good.

  5. …or businesses are not borrowing as much because people are buying less. When this happens, government may try to spend more and/or the Central Bank lowers interest rates to encourage businesses to borrow. These actions, however, introduce their own sets of problems, i.e., government may have budget constraints or lowering interest rates may trigger higher prices. If the bank robbers spend the money they steal, it may actually have a positive effect on the economic results in a pure numbers sense. (For the record, this behavior is not to be condoned of course.)

  6. Exerpt from the blog of Gweilung…

    You know they did that in the early 90s and installed that woman – Aquino – and she was just a dummy. Anytime they revolt, they just elect more of the same. They just never learn. The Philippines is a hopeless country. They had 1000 chances to get up and be a serious player and squandered all of them. Its just useless and hopeless…

    Gweilung that was from your blog way back November….

    Happy New Year!

    CVJ many thanks for your inputs to my inputs
    Happy New Year to You!

  7. You’re welcome Karl. Happy New Year as well.
    Pay no mind to the bored gweilo, life is short

  8. Karl, I watched some parts of PGMA on tv last nite w/ her economic people & they spoke of doing the pump priming of the economy.I guess economics is a balancing act.We just have to try & try again until we get it right.I think we are starting the year well.There seems to be a lot of hope in the air.Although it won’t be a easy ride for the have & have nots.But i doubt it if anyone could say the economy is being managed badly.
    The monkey wrench in our life is really the poison politics going around.
    nga pala Karl thanks
    & gud luck w/ your new job

  9. Today’s PDI editorial seems to be hopeful as well. At least, the Argentina-type economic crisis that some were predicting last year does not seem to be happening because of the dollar inflows.

  10. cvj, if we remain focused i’m sure things will work seems that the fundamentals are in place & have been always.we just have to get our praiorities right.if the PDI edi. was hopeful coming from a newspaper that is forever critical.then maybe that means something

  11. We’re just spectators to what’s happening upstairs where the managing and decision-making is done. So whatever progress that’s going to come will be attributed to whoever is sitting on the seat of power. I’m all for the prosperity and progress of the Philippines, and will be very glad indeed to feel the economic blessings these would bring.

    On this perspective, what do we mean when we say we must set our priorities? Does it mean to say we should not rock the boat? Is it “just let things go as they” are and then things will work out?

    I think that it is going to work out. However, I think too that it is a very shortsighted plan.

    My argument is, if Gloria does bring prosperity to the Philippines, it was done after she has enriched herself and her family (albeit unproven), and after undermining the laws and institutions of our country. If we allow that to happen, whoever succeeds Gloria can follow what Gloria has done. That is to enrich himself/herself first and before leaving office, transform himself/herself into somebody who brings good tidings so that all will be forgotten.

    Anybody who violates the law must be punished. That makes for a stronger fundamental, something that will be more permanent. (So if proven guilty, Gloria must be punished).

  12. MLQ3;probably we are expectators & maybe also not.I don’t think it’s wise to entertain the thought of helplesness.Although we clearly can’t participate at high levels of decision-making.Maybe we should be more thankful to be in that lonely position.
    But I’m sure that as inidviduals memebers of society we can contribute our bit by being professionals in our individual fields.I know that if I’m good in my skill in turn I can generate a job.But I guess first of all it’s very important to love your job & be good at it.
    When I say praiorities,I mean that constantly we have to weigh things & look at matters in terms of what will bring greater good in the long term.
    I’m suer that those who have selfish plans for this country have no greater wish then ruining the economy.
    But for me the operational word is Praiorities.It’s about where you are & where you wanna go & what do you really wanna achive.
    Politics is about “gray” areas.Politics has nothing to do w/ right or wrong but w/ agendas & interest to protect.I don’t see the long term good it can bring this country?
    I’m not a judge or jury or “mr. morals”.There is nothing I can do about charcters who freak me out.But what is w/in my reach is to improve my person & skill in learning how to deal w/ dificult situations.
    I too see unhappy people around me everyday.If I can’t do anything directly to help them.At least, I won’t add to the difficult situation

  13. “My argument is, if Gloria does bring prosperity to the Philippines, it was done after she has enriched herself and her family (albeit unproven), and after undermining the laws and institutions of our country. If we allow that to happen, whoever succeeds Gloria can follow what Gloria has done. That is to enrich himself/herself first and before leaving office, transform himself/herself into somebody who brings good tidings so that all will be forgotten.”

    – Isn’t that the norm? It’s what Cory and her Kamag-anaks did. It’s what FVR and his cronies did. It’s what Erap did. Not that it absolves GMA, but she’s no different than any of our post-WWII politicians. What we need is someone who will do differently from the norm.

  14. MLQ3; Carl, di ba the issue aginst PGMA last year was lieing,cheating & stealing the election. This year, since the economy is up to a good start.It’s “enriching” herself(albiet unproven).We seem to have a penchant for unproven things.Marcos enriched himself.Erap enriched himself,his even having serious problems to disprove it.Now PGMA is enriching herself.I guess the next number of the program will be to present her cronies.Ironic in a way since businesmen abandoned her last year.
    If the country does prosper & lets pray that it does.Can’t we just be happy & thankful to whoever that we prosper?
    I guess we are just a country so full of pride that even in succes we will all be quarelling.
    We seem to be scared of seeing people succed & prefer to think of them as thives.
    I find it strange. wherus, others will work to prosper.Us pinoys insted will look for faults.
    maybe we are creating ourselves monsters of our fears.

  15. Joey, i’m all for going about our jobs and not using the frailties of our leaders as an excuse for doing poorly as individuals. Agree that politics is about protecting interests so we have to be clear where the Filipino Nation’s interest resides. In game theory terms (that Carl has previously referred to), Filipinos seem to be stuck with playing for sub-optimal payoffs in a Prisoner’s Dilemma situation. GMA’s actions during the past election helps get us further along that track of inferior payoffs, and her support for an undemocratic Charter Change initiative would help perpetuate that condition. I thought that would be clear to her since she has a PhD in Economics, but maybe she was absent when this subject matter was taken up. By trying to hold our political leaders accountable for their actions even if they are on ‘our side’, we are hopefully doing our part to try to shift to the outcome which gives optimal pay-offs for everybody. We can choose to keep quiet, but that only means the ones who come after would have to do the job for us.

  16. MLQ3: cvj, i agree w/ you.anyway,maybe because i’m on the pragmatic & practical side of things.But i beleave that if we really want results.We have to slow down in screaming wolf.Because at the end it’s credibility that the end we weaken the institution more when we should be working to strenghten them.
    Sorry,but i did not get the sub optimal payoffs prisoner dilema thing

  17. Carl, don’t you mean ‘post-Diosdado Macapagal’ politicians? I did not hear anything about Roxas, Magsaysay, Garcia & the first Macapagal. Quirino had some bedpan-related issues but i don’t think the scale is comparable. The least GMA could have done is not to tarnish the good name her father left her.

  18. Regarding ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ – suppose we robbed a bank for 100K pesos and then hid the money. We both get caught by a policeman and are separately interrogated. If you confess and i don’t, i get salvaged and you get to keep 60K. If i confess and you don’t, i get 60K and you get salvaged. If we both confess, we each get 1K. If we both keep quiet, we both go free and keep the money. The sub-optimal outcome is for both you and me to confess and get 2k total pay-off (1k pesos each) instead of the maximum possible 100k pay-off (50k pesos each).

    Substitute the policeman for the politicians, you for the pro-GMA (or ‘GMA is the lesser evil’) camp and me for the ‘anybody but GMA’ camp. It can be seen above that our instincts for being practical or for self-preservation makes us choose the option where we end up collectively getting less. In contrast, if the bank robbers were father and son, the outcome would probably be different.

    In any case, I agree with you and the rest of those who counsel discernment and guarding against empty posturing.

  19. Carl, thanks for the very informative historical exposition. Interesting take on how WWII influenced us as a people. Looks like contrary to the thesis by Dodong’s mechanic (a few posts back), bloodshed does not have a beneficial effect on the Filipino psyche.

    Perhaps, as a result of all the past centuries’ wars in the Philippines, a good proportion of our brave and upright countrymen have been killed leaving the opportunists to survive and multiply. After all, 500K Filipinos died in the Philippine American War, 100K civilians were killed in the WW2 liberation of Manila alone, and a lot of otherwise promising future leaders and members of society were killed off during the Marcos years.

    Could it be that there is evolutionary pressure favoring opportunistic behavior in these Islands?

  20. Even Joey believes that there are evil men out there. Given the chance to exploit others, many will do it. Not just in the Philippines.

    Again, I give an example from Hong Kong. Many local Hong Kong people would now opt for an Indonesian maid. The reason is they can underpay them. Regular pay for domestic helpers is 3,270hk$. Indonesians accept payments as low as 1,500 a month. In addition to that, Indonesian maids are not allowed to have one day a week day off. Or sometimes only 1 day a month. I talked to a local chinese acquaintance and he said that he knows it’s illegal but everybody does it. So he’s going to do it too before his wife gives birth to their first baby. Today there are about 125,000 Filipina maids and 95,000 Indonesian maids in Hong Kong. 10 years ago there were about 175,000 filipinas vs about 5,000 Indonesians.

    In Joey’s logic, it’s okay to do that dahil prosperous naman ang Hong Kong. Sabi niya forget about the inconsequential stuff.

    We can even infer from what he says that if Marcos brought prosperity, then we should be thankful to Marcos. If Erap brought prosperity okay lang kahit nagpakasasa siya sa pera mula sa jueteng (although not proven until now). Sabi ni Joey kahit masama si Gloria hayaan na lang dahil baka gumanda na ang ekonomiya ng bansa. I say it’s a lot of bull.

    Sabi ni Carl nagiging norm/accepted na dahil every leader does it anyway. From this we can conclude that if our leaders are going to get away from what they’ve done (Marcos spent the rest of his life in Hawaii, Erap enjoys his life in Tanay, Gloria enjoys her powers until now) ay taong bayan ang maghihirap.

    Kaya hindi pwede sabihin na dahil nagdala ng ginhawa sa bansa ang isang lider ay okay na kahit walanghiya siya.

    I say that if Gloria is proven guilty, she should be kicked out! If Erap is not proven guilty, he should be freed. Di ba mas fair iyon? And it builds a strong society because it is a very solid foundation.

    Si Gloria ay hindi na-prove na guilty dahil kanyang ginamit ang kanyang kapangyarihan at yaman ng bayan para di man lang siya maimbestigahan. She’s still president now but she’s also weakened our society by undermining our laws. Kaya sa akin ay di siya karapat-dapat na presidente.

  21. Jon, sadly at this point that’s the state of human nature. In Indonesia, Suharto’s kleptocracy would not have ended if it were not for the 1997 Asian Crisis. Carl, in a previous comment, asserts that Marcos was brought down by the economic crisis, and not because of all the people his
    regime murdered. Ordinary people would say that it’s ok for leaders to take something on the side as long as they reinvest some of it on the people. It’s not fair but that’s the way our society is, for now. Filipinos, among others, have become ‘pragmatic’ to a fault.

    When enough people have prospered and looked at themselves in the mirror, or conversely, if enough of the miserable but docile poor are awakened, the pendulum may swing the other way and the emphasis will shift away from material security and towards justice, fairness and self-respect. It happened two times in my lifetime, so it’s likely to happen again. The fates of the Korean dictators, Pinochet, and Fujimori are instructive. Hopefully, it would be a relatively soft landing as in the South Korean scenario where Erap & Gloria get to wear orange jumpsuits. Alternatively, it could be the bloodbath in the residential subdivisions that some of the folks here have been eagerly looking forward to.

    In either case, i take some comfort in the fact that history would most likely consign GMA to her proper place.

  22. Well said cvj. That is why my position is for us Filipinos to take a stand(wrong is wrong, and punish the wrongdoers) and wait for the right time to participate in their purging.

    I guess that when the tide turns, the Joey Legarda’s of the Philippines will be on our side too since they will think that we will be the winning side!?

  23. Jon, actually, when that time comes, i’m not even sure whether we’ll find ourselves on the ‘winning side’. I can imagine certain revolutionary situations where the middle class as a whole is identified by the revolutionaries as by and large having collaborated with the oligarchy too closely. Historically,purges or cleansings tend not to be controllable. That’s why a soft landing scenario is preferable.

  24. As cvj, points out, in the weaning process, the survivors, who are usually of the more opportunistic and ruthless kind, come out ahead. This was very apparent in EDSA I. The well-meaning characters faded into the background. Chino Roces, Pepe Diokno and others like them were sidelined, while the snakes in the grass such as Peping Cojuangco, Monching Mitra, Jojo Binay, Nene Pimentel and others like them, got fat on the hog. They were soon joined by Marcos-era survivors like JDV, Chavit Singson, the Dy’s of Isabela , the Josons, Erap, Johnny Enrile and others like them. Added to the mix were Marcos-era cronies like Lucio Tan, Danding Cojuangco, the Camposes, Tony Boy Cojuangco, the Floiriendos and others like them. Pretty soon you had the same potpourri of corrupt businessmen and politicians running the show. Chances are, even if we changed GMA now, this situation will prevail unless there is systemic change.

  25. Jon naman,I never said anything about forgeting inconsequential stuff.
    I have spoken very much of priorities.Praiorities also means dealing w/ things in a systematic way.I don’t know the nature of your job in HK but I’m sure your not kalat and that also means you have an orderly way of doing your job and your appreciated by that.
    Jon, it’s also a free market.People are free to meke choices of how to spend their money.
    I’m sure you do that also.Does that make you a bad person?
    In my other entries.I also mentioned that us a professional I behave myself w/ high moral standards.It is a choice that I do as an individual.I don’t waste my time judging others for what they do.
    I think it’s every individual hope & dream to prosper & we must not deny it to anyone.
    In the case of the Philippines it’s a bit more complicated.Because politics like a cancer has invaded all aspects of our lives.
    It seems that as a society we are so confussed already.
    That is why I advocate that we come up w/ praiorities.
    At times it seems to me that our society is alike a baby crieing & since babies can’t talk to express themselves they cry.
    We seem to be one big baby constantly crieing & complaining.We seem to like everything but don’t know where to start.
    It can’t be that your always right & everybody is wrong?

  26. Joey, i respect your way of doing things eventhough I strongly disagree with it. Let’s leave it at that.

    In cvj’s post above (#32), I think that where we digress is in the sequence of change we prefer.

    You would like to change economically first while putting justice & fairness in second place. (You sound to have strong self-respect and self-trust).

    I am arguing for the opposite, because I believe that it makes for a stronger foundation for society.

  27. yes jon, dreams are always good, they give us hope.but honestly, we do not know what the future holds.I’m still convinced that we should conquer our attitudes first then everything else will be easy.

  28. cvj, i agree w/ you that it’s important to give the people a chance to regain their dignity first by giving them a chance to prosper.
    i’m sure a person w/ a full stomach will see things differently.
    i’m sure things will be seen w/ another prespective.
    i’m sure the root cause of our problems is about the poverty & inequity.
    when i write in this concern is really to the poor people.we who could write in this blog in the comfort of our homes or offices are really lucky.but i would like to beleave that as we express ourselves we have in mind those who are less fortunate then us.maybe we can’t do anything directly to lighten their burden but at least lets not add to it by reckless conclussion &’s a complicated world w/ no simple answers & no simple solutions.and i don’t think any one of us has all the answers.but i think being level headed about things will allow more objectivity.we won’t get anywhere by convicting people by perception or subjective feelings.the impression that i had in the past 6 months is that there has been so much hate & disgust but very rare that there has been discussion looking at the larger picture of things & realy analysing everything before coming up w/ conclussions.we do no better then our cops who shoot first & ask questions later.

  29. I agree with you joey, with one caveat. I don’t
    believe in incubating under a dictatorship no matter how well meaning. It’s not a system that will allow our people to think for themselves. Besides, we know from historical experience that Filipinos make abusive dictators. That’s why we somehow have to put up with all the noise.

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