Capture the flag

It seems to me the most significant news today is the mass defection of Pampanga mayors from Lakas-CMD to the President’s pet party, Kampi. Capture the flag time should have begun a year ago, but the Pampanga defections should be the opening salvo in the raiding of Lakas. The mission? Make it a minority, instead of the dominant, party in the ruling coalition by January or February next year (see Comelec AKO’s election calendar).

This reminds me of the comment of a lawyer after the suspended mayor of Sta. Rosa, Laguna explained the reasons (political) behind his suspension by the Palace. The lawyer smiled and said, “Mayor, your mistake was that you didn’t run over to the Palace to take the oath to Kampi the moment you heard they were going to suspend you.” The mayor smiled and nodded. So I asked him, “would your constituents have understood if you did?” “Oh, sure,” replied the ex-and soon-to-be-again mayor.

UP Diliman reaps a windfall from leasing land.

Interesting Apec note: the President of Mexico wasn’t allowed to attend by the Mexican Congress! Thai leader expects questions concerning martial law still being in place.

Al Jazeera in English finally begins broadcast. Milton Freidman is dead.

The President is all pumped up. Two cautionary views on Honasan: the Inquirer editorial says he should retire; Amando Doronila thinks Honasan’s capture will only sweep a larger problem under the rug. A reporter’s notes: Ces Drilon pens a comparison of Honasan’s capture then and now.

Two views on foreign businessmen and their concern over human rights in the Philippines from Luis Teodoro and Dan Mariano. But Mariano also has news of racketeering in the Cebu Asean meeting preparations (via Newsbreak’s print edition):

“Long before the unlikely-to-be-completed [Cebu International Convention Center] drew attention, the Philippine government was already projecting itself in a bad light in relation to its hosting of the Asean summit.

“It seemed some organizers were trying to make money at the expense of foreign journalists and media agencies planning to cover the summit. The published rates of hotels in Cebu were US$60 on the average. When foreign journalists tried to make reservations, the hotels turned them away—they were supposed to go through the International Press Club [IPC] that’s with the Office of the Press Secretary.

“So they went to the IPC, which asked them to pay $200 a night for an average hotel [read: not five star]. To some foreign news agencies, the rate being quoted was $250 a night. They were told that they had to pay in dollars, in full, by the end of October.

“Journalists who covered this gathering in the past say that in Kuala Lumpur last year, the average room rate in five-star hotels was only $75 a night. Last we heard the IPC was giving the journalists only acknowledgment receipts for their payments, not provisional receipts from the hotels. The journalists couldn’t establish who really set the rates; the IPC said these came from the hotels, but the hotels wouldn’t talk. A few reporters who didn’t coordinate with the IPC got rooms for only $85.

“The high cost of covering the Asean summit in Cebu doesn’t end with the hotel rates. Journalists were told that vehicle rental would be P7,500 to P8,000 a day. When they complained, the IPC cut the rates down to P2,000 to P2,500 a day.”

Peryodistang Pinay has the latest on the Cebu Convention Center. Purple Phoenix proposes other uses for it.

Rene Saguisag pens an open letter to the Judicial Bar Council. Newsbreak reports one Palace strategy may be to simply leave one vacancy in the high court unfilled until March.

Patricio Diaz observes how Americans use people’s initiative.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

22 thoughts on “Capture the flag

  1. Milton Friedman, the man who believed that men must be set free to do as he pleased. The Hayekians versus the Keynesians. What would have happened if the Western government’s would not have followed Keynes advice. It was too late to prevent the Second World War.

    Would it have brought the theories of Marx closer to reality? Allowing markets to punish at the same time allowing markets to create wealth. The ultimate check and balance………

    “Reward and punishment drives the rational mind and is the spur that drives all man.” John Locke

    Who would be the overseer over governments?????In the end the markets.

    Would it have been better to let banks fail so people who lost their savings would instead lynch the bankers so that in the future bankers would be more circumspect with other people’s money and people more responsible and cricumspect?.

    That type of market equilibrium would have created the prospect of faster equilibrium. Can you imagine the mess if after the Asian crisis, the Philippine banking system almost all of it could not make payments on its deposits. All the owners of the banks would have been lynched.

    In that sense Friedman was right in the beauty of markets creating the correct behavior in people rather than government trying to intervene and making people forget about individual responsibility and accountability.

    He favored the legalization of drugs and prostitution. He believed that human needs were paramount. Freedom was non- negotiable.

    It was he, after the breakdown and cancelation of the Bretton Woods agreements which the U.S. reneged on, went to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and requested them to list major currencies like physical commodities in the exchange. He brought the world into the world of monetarism. The ultimate check versus the abuse by governments over the creation of money. In a sense he agreed with Lenin and Keynes:

    “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.”
    Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” John Maynard Keynes

    The world mostly do not know they owe a great deal to this man who postponed the day of reckoning for humanity’s slide into barbarism once again.

    Checks and balances – how to maintain at all times that equilibrium.

  2. Comelec Ako,

    Where can I find Sworn Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures? I ‘d like to see Mrs. Arroyo’s record for every election she has participated in. Also her son’s and her brother- in -law.I can’t find it on the Comelec website.

  3. manuel, that wouldn’t be on the website (altho god knows it ought to be), because you can only get at it through a written request to the Director of the Law Department: Atty. Alioden Dalaig.

  4. comelec ako,

    thanks. how about you posting those statements on this blog or in your blog. Can you do it without getting into trouble?

  5. The use of the People’s Initiative in Oregon is pretty lax.

    Since not every one exercise their right to vote; to use the VOTES cast for governorship as basis for the required number of signatories for a “Ballot Measure” greatly places the number very low.

  6. Milton Friedman’s documentary ‘Free to Choose’, which was shown on local TV back in the 80’s, was what got me interested in Economics. I owe this great economist a debt of gratitude for making me aware of such a fascinating subject.

  7. Milton Friedman’s documentary ‘Free to Choose’, which was shown on local TV back in the 80’s

    Those were the glory days of RPN9, when they showed Free to Choose, James Burke’s Connections, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, (and Woody Allen movies). It says something about the generation that grew up in those times that they found those shows entertaining.

  8. mlq3,

    This is a rejoinder to the blog by The World is an Apple at if I digress by knowingly posting it here. I would want to conveniently place it so you’d be able to read it. =)

    I disagree with The World is an Apple. “The Explainer” is NOT “one of the worst made talkshows in the history of planet earth.” I’m pretty sure there are a lot more far worse in tv history.

    This being said, I hope there’s “a ballroom” for improvement in your show. I agree with Amadeo Dela Cruz’s comments. Content is very good; the set (paraphrasing Dela Cruz) – horrible. I think a brighter, more vibrant colored set compared to the present sombre earth tones will help.

    Format-wise, I consider your show a tv-zine rather than a talkshow. As such, I find the segmentation quite stunted rather than well synthesized and fluid. The interactive Q&A between you and your guest co-host can be reformatted. Sometimes, the explanation in this segment becomes tedious, and that’s when I tend to doze off. It might be just me since I grew up with MTV. But I think some explanation ought to be more concise and at times, just bulleted. Taking my cue from BBC, which I believe has perfected the tv-zine format in shows like Click, rather than having your co-hosts ask questions, why not have them introduce the point and roll to VTR of a pre-narrated AV presentation of the sub-topic. I think VTRs as topic-segments will make the show more fast-paced and less monotonous and will present a more cohesive segmentation of your topic’s outline.

    These are just some of my unsolicited suggestions. And to The World is an Apple, if you are reading this post, “explainer” is a legitimate English word and can very well be used in scrabble. You’d be surprised how tenacious and prolific “-er” is as a nominalizing suffix in English. It runs the historic-diachronic gamut from the archaic “smiter” to “eater” to the contemporary “blogger.” So, there you go.

  9. Finally, Al Jaz (English) has started broadcast. I hope local cable outfits will carry it sans premium, like CNN and BBC. I’m quite interested to see their format and content as they purport to exercise a broader “global” perspective and carry news stories that western, run-of-the-mill cable news networks won’t touch. And live broadcast will follow the “west” to “east” timeline, from their broadcast center in Washington, DC to London, Doha and KL. Hmmm… very interesting.

  10. Honasan caught with his pants down, Sotto followed with foot in his mouth..
    Type of injuries susstained by Honasan is not consistent with Sotto’s version.

    calcaneal fracture usually occurs after a fall from a height of not less than 10 feet. Honasan could have jumped from the roof of an english double decker bus if we take the version of Sotto.

    Honasan should just fade away. His bigger headache now is how to reconciliate with his wife Jane. It could be worse than rebellion charges.

  11. I am sure Friedman would have loved this- Sent by a close friend of mine recently.
    “The government should change its emblem to a condom, because it more accurately describes its political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks and gives you a sense of security while you are actually being screwed. Damn, it doesn’t get more accurate than that!”

  12. UP student,

    Isagani Cruz has some good points on the merits and demerits of Dual Citizenship. But for us Canadians, who only has one class of Citizenship. The only time we loss ours is through renouncement and the other if such was acquired by material misrepresentations or “lies”. Remember, the Lebanon evacuation? More than half of Canadians evacuated out of that country at the expense of $85 millions were back in a matter of months. Most of them have no more roots in Canada, simply being a Citizen. They don’t pay taxes, but quite a lot of them will be back when pension time comes. Most of us here, don’t bother to take another oath to re-acquire our Filipino citizenship, unless for some who are planning to invest or acquire properties in the country. For those whose families are already here, I don’t think they can be bothered. But it is always nice to think that if ever we do, we will remain Canadian, and we will never renounce it for anything else, whatever that Isagani Cruz might say.

    For Pampanga Mayors mass defection from one party to another; solution, make local political officials such as town and city mayors and councillors PartyLess. Yes, we don’t allow party system for our local political officials and no jumping jacks.

  13. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my first impressions of the Al Jazeera English channel are rather positive. I am a sworn BBC fan, but a while ago the good old Beeb lost some points in my personal rating when they ran the story of Tom Cruise’ s wedding in Italy as one of the main news. When I switched to Al Jazeera, a reporter was just telling us about dire prospects of starved Darfur refugees which was followed by the news of UN General Assembly condemning Israelis for the massacre in Beit Hanun, none of which was mentioned on the BBC broadcast while I was watching. This, in my opinion, is how you effectively lose the war over the global news audience. BBC selling out to the celebrity-obsessed viewers while the grave injustice keeps on rocking the world? Shame on them! I hope the competition from Al Jazeera will make them come back to their senses.

  14. Bafil, agree. Sir David Frost’s presence in Al Jaz is a huge boost. I like the idea that there’s now another international brodacasting medium that will hopefully provide viewers with a slightly different perspective.

    Btw, Sir David’s interview of PM Tony Blair is typical of the Frost touch – he got bumbling Tony Blair to admit finally that the Iraq invasion was a DISASTER on all counts. (Frost also interviewed Nixon in the twilight of the latter’s political career.)

    Anyway, Blair couldn’t care less that Frost got him cornered – he’s on his way out and he knows history will be harsh on him however he tries to revise what he did on Iraq so he’s making his last stand : admit the truth and leave his legacy to fate.

    Blair’s view that the invasion brought democracy to Iraq. Unbelievable! Democracy? What democracy? Blair speaking from his backside one more time.

    And by way of war reparations for Iraq, we now learn that Labour Blair and his government have now committed UK taxpayers’ money (through Brown the PM in waiting) to the tune of 100 billion pounds! These Socialists are not only a disaster to Iraq, they are also a disaster to the UK (and to our pension fund!)

  15. Bafil, just want to remind you that there are 4 BBC channels so you actually have a choice if you don’t like the more celebrity proned BBC 2.

    BBC 1 is for family, home, garden, cooking etc stuff.

    BBC 3 is world news – good stuff they present there.

  16. Anna, thanks for the tips, but the satellite package I have here (in Sana’a, Yemen) doesn’t give me the option of switching to another BBC channel. The NileSat only carries BBC World which is fine with me most of the time, but certainly not on Tom and Katie’s wedding day. They – BBC World – actually went further with the madness by coming back and forth with their special correspondent at that Italian Castle where the wedding took place and I could tell the presenter himself didn’t feel it was proper to give it this much space as he kept on grinning and winking at the audience as if to say “Sorry, I am not the one who decides what gets on the news here”.

  17. Vic… Canada is not “one-class citizenship” as you state. There is a special rule for (some children of) naturalized Canadian citizens. For Canada, a child born outside Canada to a Canadian parent is automatically a Canadian citizen. HOWEVER, if the Canadian parent is a citizen-by-descent(naturalization), the Canadian citizenship of the child is probationary, kind-of. The child loses Canadian citizenship unless child applies to retain Canada-citizenship before 28th birthday.
    Both US and Canada practice the principle of “jus soli”:Jus soli (“right of the territory”), or birthright citizenship — a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognised to any individual born in the territory of the related state. Napakatagal ng uso iyong “birth tourism”, iyong buntis na taga-South Korea o Argentina… she flies to the US on a visitor’s visa, stay long enough so the child is born on US soil.]

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