Numerology and politics

This entry was all brought to mind by my postponing with several a-bloating entries still in draft form, and taking time off to read article by Lei Feng in the Asia Sentinel, China’s Disasters by the Number:

Like the US post-9/11 and my fellow office workers, many of China’s Netizens have been trying to find meaning in what it is being called the worst year in the country’s history – though none mention the famines in the late ’50s or the Cultural Revolution years.

There were the crippling snowstorms of January, unrest in Tibet followed by what is widely perceived here as international insult and humiliation heaped on the “sacred flame” of the Olympic torch while it made its journey outside the Middle Kingdom. A horrific train crash came next and now the earthquake the Internet is abuzz with material that is familiar in its own way to Americans who have pondered the coincidences of the John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln assassinations (“Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln; both had vice presidents from southern states named Johnson…”).

It is also reminiscent of the weird idea that a Nostradamus couplet foretold the attack on the Twin Towers, or that the word “Satan” could be seen in the smoke that rose above the collapsed building on 9/11.

In China, it’s about numbers: add up the dates of the snowstorm (1-25), the Tibet riots (3-14) and the earthquake (5-12) individually and you get “8” normally an unusually auspicious number and the reason the Olympics will kick off on 8-8-08 (and why it costs significantly more to get a phone number with multiple 8’s).

The five tooth-achingly cute cartoon character Olympic mascots called ” — I think of them as exotic, colorful Smurfs are also now seen by some to be harbingers of China’s recent miseries. Representing a fish, panda, swallow, Tibetan antelope and the Olympic flame, those seeking coincidence see the panda as an earthquake warning, since the ravaged area is also home to China’s endangered giant panda; the Tibetan antelope well, you can figure that out; ditto for the Olympic flame; the swallow is seen as emblematic for the “kite city” of Weifang in Shandong province where China experienced a deadly train crash last month.

The remaining one is a fish symbol, representing water, which online doomsayers suggest could indicate pending horror in the Yangtze River.

Some Taiwanese TV stations are also blaming the feng shui of Beijing’s massive new “Bird Nest” Olympic stadium, saying it has “interrupted the pulse” of a giant dragon said to lie beneath the country.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt died, Josef Goebbels whipped out an astrological chart and confidently informed Hitler that the tide had finally turned in favor of the Third Reich. Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers. Aguinaldo supposedly had a potent anting-anting, Time Magazine reported in 1944 that Quezon was somehow convinced he would never die in the daytime (he died in the morning) and of course Ferdinand Marcos adorned his room with mystical pentagrams and had a great faith in the significance of the number seven. President Arroyo has had the presidential palace exorcised several times, she consults mystical nuns (one independence day celebration involved little flags adorned with some sort of slogan being dropped from a helicopter, apparently upon the prophetic exhortation of one such nun), while Feng Shui principles are applied to the layout of the Palace and so forth. Former Speaker de Venecia decided to support the last impeachment because he was receiving letters dictated by his dead daughter from beyond the grave. And Romulo Neri, apparently, does nothing without consulting the I Ching.

If, as Randy David says, the real crisis confronting our country is what he calls A Crisis of Modernity, then you have to despair of a political class that determines its political actions not according to a pragmatic cost-benefit analysis or anything else, but according to omens and other efforts at divination. Not least because this prevents any real, rational, analysis of political events and trends. Or then again, if numerology and divination helps us cope with an increasingly complex world, maybe it’s no big deal?

Manuel L. Quezon III.

235 thoughts on “Numerology and politics

  1. hi Vic,
    “The court ruled the argument needs “substantial redrafting,” noting lack of clarity “makes it difficult to know” what the parents want.”

    sounds like the Philippines. we do need good lawyers who will represent our people. drafting requires financial statement, goals, objectives and “cause and effect”. Lots of signatures and proven track of integrity.

    I am still very postive with Philippines..Kung sa Bisaya” mapiskan ra ta sa progress sa ubang nasud sama sa China” We don’t need to do anything except cleaning up corrupt officials. Everything will fall into place with honest leaders.

  2. hi leytenian, me again, Intensive Behaviourial Intervention (IBI)therapy has already been introduced for Autistic Children within the Public School System in the past year or two. But it will take a while to train qualified therapists to accommodate all Autistic Children in the system..The lawsuit was launched in 2004 while debates and deliberations about funding for IBI which requires at least 20 hours of therapy a week in one to one basis was going on…Now the program is in place in its initial stage, and maybe that is the reason why the Court of Appeal is handing back the claims for further clarification of what the 5 sets of parents really want..and it a class action suit to benefits all children if it succeeds…

  3. thanks for the heads-up, anthony scalia. that’s exactly what i was telling cvj. the jews were ALLOWED to return to the “promised land” which remained a province of the babylonian empire, and the jewish people continued to live under the yoke of babylon until rome took over.

    “who cares about the history of jews and the persians? let’s deal with our very own problems.” leytenean

    sorry but i thought mlq3 is the one who sets the parameters of these discussions. the ancient persia-judea history and related subjects, i think, are relevant to the topic of bangsamoro claim of separate nationhood, a subject of this thread, and one of our more important “very own problems”. if you feel you don’t learn anything from it and care not to participate , you’re free to talk to yourself, or with someone else willing to engage you.

  4. mindanaon,

    the guy lives in the city too. i doubt if he has ever set foot in any parts of mindanao. maybe he doesn’t know that in most part of the south, muslims and christians are living peacefully side by side and that the military is fighting only the rebels and bandits (including the npa’s) in the jungles and not primarily against the muslims.

    i even read somewhere that he fears the likes of duterte. maybe he should try living for sometime in davao and see for himself how’s life out there. if i remember it right, mlq3 once wrote that the best place for him to live is either davao or baguio.

  5. ‘The more difficult question probably is “where FIRST to put new roads”.’

    Connect the major cities with expressways first. That’s how they started the US Interstate system. Before you know it every corner of Mindanao is accessible.

    Rail links between major cities can be achieved using diesel light rail vehicles. Similar to the LRT in Manila but powered by diesel engine.

  6. Hi Vic,
    about autistic issue in canada

    sounds like these parents need a state funded or non profit school to accomodate autistic children. a fundraising campaign will benefit to build a new specialized school just for autistic children. Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. These children cannot be mixed with other normal children in a school type environment. A speech/language pathologists/therapists ,i believe is needed not just a normal school teacher. Although suing the government for negligence is not a good idea because there are other ways to build a school like fundraising, finding a sponsor and opening a non profit organization. A non profit org. organize by women will always get a government loan but anyway, this is Canada. In the US… since I am considered a minority,opening any type of business with business planning is to my advantage. As long as I can provide a complete data, business planning and projected income statement.. any amount is funded.

    Email these parents to call another autistic school for guidance on how to start their own school. More parents of autistic children must also be involved so that funding of new school will be justifiable. I wish them luck.

  7. supremo, nice thought but of mindanao’s 25 cities, only 1 is predominantly muslim. there is also now a beautiful concrete highway from pagadian to cotabato, passing through lanao del sur. no commercial buses ply the route.

  8. correct if wrong:

    babylon is the modern day iraq
    persia is the moidern day iran


    Been looking at your exchanges re:autism

    I was interested because I had two brothers with autism. I say had because one went ahead already.

  9. leytenian,

    “who cares about the history of jews and the persians?”

    i do. believe it or not, it has a bearing on the Christian faith. in case you don’t know, the Christian faith has jewish antecedents

    “let’s deal with our very own problem.”

    we are. don’t worry about Meralco, its management will remain in private hands. no matter how terrible it is run, government taking over it gives shareholders the creeps.

    high electric bills is more tolerable than no power at all

  10. babylon is the modern day iraq
    persia is the moidern day iran

    yes, geographically. but socio-culturally, no

  11. oops typed part of my email addy on the name.


    Anthony,got you and thanks for the input.

    like the kurdish,take salladin(crusades) he was a kurd from iraq.But now Kurdistan’s majority speak iranian.

  12. anthony and bencard,
    please don’t get me wrong. of course there’s a connection. sorry guys, my intention was to normalize the tone of the exchanges. didn’t mean to stop it. it was simply a sense of humor. have you noticed the ” LOL”? (smiling)

  13. I didn’t know Salladin was a Kurd. It’s like in that movie Gladiator where they kept referring to the character ‘Maximus’ (played by Russell Crowe) as a ‘Spaniard’. I got cognitive dissonance because he did not speak with a Spanish accent.

  14. mindanaoan :

    ‘supremo, nice thought but of mindanao’s 25 cities, only 1 is predominantly muslim. there is also now a beautiful concrete highway from pagadian to cotabato, passing through lanao del sur. no commercial buses ply the route.’

    It doesn’t matter if no commercial buses ply the route. There are parts of the US interstate highway that nobody uses. The point is it’s there. Ready for everyone to use. You reminded me of my high school English teacher. The LRT along Taft Ave. was being built at that time. The construction noise really annoyed her. She told us everyday during class ‘The LRT is a white elephant. No one will use it’. The last time I check there are 3 LRT lines. I wonder where she is now.

  15. grd yes, davao or baguio in terms of climate, culture, food, and everything that makes for a good quality of life.

  16. leytenian, what the parents were asking is the IBI fully funded by the Government within the Public School System which is available to all other children with Special Needs Already…In this country where Equality is Constitutionally Entrenced, Parents would like their Children treated not dissimilar to any other Children regardless of their disabilities…

    My Manager, a young Filipino Engineer who just Immigrated a few years ago have a son with Polio. He is integrated into normal Catholic School (also publicly funded) with IBI during his first few years and now a very independent young boy and would give you a dirty look if you treat him differently. Most of them grow up to even drive their own specially modified cars. As much as possible special school for special needs are avoided if it can be integrated within the Universal System…this society is still evolving for the better..

  17. Vic,
    i understand, polio children or any other type of physical disability do not involve mental or cognitive deficit. autism is a developmental delay of understanding and cognition. a 12 years old autistic child may be diagnosed as a 3 year old child. this is not about discrimination ,this is about understanding the disease process that could impact the type of treatment required. autistic child requires a one on one treatment and is better administer in a home type environment where everything is familiar and quiet. over stimulation will not help these children at all. ( I know because i used to be in the healthcare management, also a licensed therapist in the state of florida before going back to business school)

    I agree with you for government to fund but the public school must hire therapists with specialty in psychology, speech and language and the classroom must be catered for them. One therapist is not enough for 5 children to be taught for at least 30 hours a week. it will require at least 3-4 therapists. A therapist ia about 60,000 to 80,000 per annum in US labor market. A one on one session could range from 40 dolars to 100 dollars per hour depending on the severity of the diagnosis. A regular teacher will be burdened to teach these children because most of them don’t have the medical background. They cannot teach these children and vice versa the children will not learn. Early diagnosis is crucial to educate parents on how to care for these type of children. Oftentimes, parents will be in denial for a long time.

    In the case of Polio,these children can get into wheelchair and still able to comprehend a normal classroom because their cognition is seldom affected.

    Do these parents have health insurance for their children? It can pay for the services. Not sure what healthcare benefits and yearly quotas Canada has. The only thing I know for sure, treatments are expensive. the private insurer can pay up to 80% of healthcare cost and the government can supplement the 20%. If the parents don’t have employer sponsored plan then they need to seek assistance fromthe government by way of disability income. Suing the government is not the right thing to do. Canadian government has great healthcare benefits. This case is not about public school.

  18. leytenian, in my previous post this program is already in initial stage, IBI in a one-to-one basis within the Public School system in a Universal Scheme settings. But as I also mentioned the case filed by these 5 parents was launced before the programs was introduced but was and has always been in every government agenda.

    The issue at the Moment is how fast the Colleges can turn up Qualified Therapists to handle the numbers of all Autistic Children..As you might as well know, the Government here can not be selective, that’s why it takes a lot a debates and planning since this will involve a lot of Taxpayers money to Implement and it is implemented now and in initial stages..These kids already getting all other care benefits and that is the only remaining issue, the integration in the Public system with a one to one IBI therapist…which is what the parents were asking…

    Canada has no health care quotas as soon as the procedure or the “care” covered by the system, no maximum at all, extended care coverage by employees have maximums, but mostly for lifestyle and non-basic care that are not covered by the Universal care and for Drug benefits for non-hospital patients..Low income and social assistant recepient, disabled, minor and seniors are fully covered, no maximum..and it eats about 40% or a little more of the Budget.

  19. And suing the Government here for every Constitutional issue is believe me or not is the right of every citizen and the court will always allow it. The case here is about Equality, and to bring more Awareness of the Plight of Autism and their right for access to Education just like every other child and it does not matter if it will cost the taxpayers $100 thousands per child or more..we care for AIDs patients at a cost of considerable amount plus disabilities pensions as they no longer capable of making a living, that is EQUALITY..

  20. Vic,
    ” bring more Awareness of the Plight of Autism”

    good reason to sue the government. awareness is the key. but getting billions of taxpayers money may not be to the judge liking or to majority.

  21. leytenian, in every lawsuit, the plaintiff must specify or quote some figures. considering the thousands of Autistic Children in this Class suit, they came up with that Figures, which the courts when deciding will always consider the capacity of the dependants to pay and it could be an award for symbolic of a $1 and the cost of court or recognition of claims..

    here is one Precedent for this type of Constitutional Lawsuit:
    George Hislop, A Gay Activist sued Canada Pension Plan for the right to Claim the Pension Benefits for a Dead Partner (same sex) on behalf of all same sex couples, but Pension Canada refused the benefits because the law states that “marriage is the Union of man and woman at the exclusion of all others” >But the l982 Charter Section 15 provision which the challenge was based, clearly states that “Every Individual is Equal Before and Under the Law,….” and the courts in 3 provinces agreed in 3 other different challenges..the Crown (government) didn’t not even bother to challenge the court rulings but Forked Out Millions to pay for the “Widow” benefits retro active to l985 (the charter provision took effect after 3 years of passing) to all same sex “widows”..

    that how same sex marriage became legal in Canada…

  22. Vic,
    “leytenian, in every lawsuit, the plaintiff must specify or quote some figures”

    true and transparency of numbers is what constitute as witness.

    “But the l982 Charter Section 15 provision which the challenge was based, clearly states that “Every Individual is Equal Before and Under the Law,….”

    that’s Rule of Law. it is always practice in a civilized society but in our country, not sure when these leaders learn the right way.

  23. vic: has the legality of same-sex marriage in Canada extended beyond money? For example, does a same-sex couple have the same rights to adopting a child as the traditional couple?

  24. upn,
    yes, same sex couples do even have the rights for paid parental leaves given traditional couple let me compute: one year minus 17 weeks for maternity, paid and divisible beteen parents. It is now EQUAL…and Sex realignment surgery(sex change) is listed again upon being delisted from the Provincial Health Coverage 10 years. Been covered since l97l but was delisted by the Conservatives 10 years ago. now it’s free again for those who wants to convert, of course with “rigorous psychological” prerequisites as per the Health Minister…

  25. The parental leave is applicable upon adaption of a child for every child, just like the parental leave allowed traditional couple for every child birth or adaption…and also the common law relationship (continuous relationship of at least 3 years) applied to traditional couple for the purpose of being considered married under the law for settlement of property or children custody upon termination of relationship or death of one partner is also applicable to both…

  26. Vic,

    Can a gay person citizen of canada petition a gay lover from overseas? LOL.

  27. leteynian, Canadian immigration law in the area of spousal sponsorships has been extended to
    include common-law partners and same-sex partners(requiring proof of having lived together in a commited sexual relationship for at least a year).

    But for Fiancee Sponsorship, I’m not too sure yet, because the Marriage for Convenience, that is always not allowed as some of them is still at the discretion of the Immigration Officers in Charge to decide and also most countries where the same sex partner may come from does not recognize same sex marriage. But if the couple can get married in Canada or in a country where it is legal, sponsoring the spouse of Same Sex is the Same as the Opposite Sex…the simplest way is for the prospective partner to come as a Tourist, get married and get sponsored from Within the Country or both go to a country where same sex marriage is legal and start from there…

  28. oic, california i think is now allowing same sex marriages but not sure with immigration policies. it’s interesting.

  29. vic,
    agree. i actually called a gay friend who are planning to get married in california, he told me the same ( federal jurisdiction). thanks Vic.

  30. welcome leytenian, sometimes it is confusing in the U.S, because crossing the State Line you could be subject to a different state’s law..whereas, criminal code is uniform all over Canada, while civil law is the same in all provinces except in Quebec which still follows the Napoleonic (French) Civil Code.. there is a little variation in Social Programs, but mostly similar laws in most…

  31. supremo, how simplistic to think what’s good in one place should also be applied elsewhere. and as a solution to a completely different problem at that. not to mention we cannot afford to choose wrong priorities because we don’t have money.

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