RSS

President Donald J. Trump Inaugural Speech

WASHINGTON D.C., January 20, 2017

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-inaugural-address/index.html

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.
Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.
We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.
Words from the past: Inauguration speech library
For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered — but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes — starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.
The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.
But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
I will fight for you with every breath in my body — and I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected.
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.
In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.
We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action — constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.
We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:
You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, We will make America strong again.
We will make wealthy again.
We will make America proud again.
We will make America safe again.
And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

 

Tags: ,

‘World champions’

“Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.”
–Joseph Heller

13006620_10206130189196605_589309284076281549_nBy Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If he did not quarrel with a fellow spoiled brat, many Filipinos wouldn’t know that Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri is a “former world champion in arnis.”
Incensed that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused him and Senator Dick Gordon of “trying to whitewash the investigation of corruption in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID)”, Zubiri “accepted” Trillanes’ challenge for a “war” boasting that “I did not become a world champion in arnis for nothing…”
True or not, who are we to doubt Zubiri’s claim that he is a former world champion in arnis? (Although I personally haven’t read any press release or news item that extolled the Bukidnon lawmaker’s exploits in the combat sport otherwise known as “Eskrima” and “Kali”.)
Aside from Zubiri, they also have Senator Manny Pacquiao as world boxing champion.

ABUNDANCE

The Philippine senate actually has abundance if not packed with “world champions.”
In fact, the upper house, as an institution, has also been reputed as a “world champion” — in producing plunderers, clowns and mediocre legislators.
If amassing unexplained wealth via “pork barrel” is a world championship, who can beat our Janet Napoles-inspired Filipino legislators?
They could even wrap up the “team championship” or dominate the medal tally.
And if there is a “world championship” in their respective talents, styles, and categories, Senators Leila De Lima, Vicente “Tito” Sotto, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Frank Drilon, Gringo Honasan II, Alan Peter Cayetano, Ralph Recto, Nancy Binay; and Trillanes IV might win handily and be considered also as “world champions.”
De Lima in love affair; Sotto in plagiarism; Honasan in coup d’tat; Drilon in balimbing game; Lacson in Houdini-like escape; Cayetano in sip-sip game; Recto in playing safe attitude; Binay in underdog effect, Trillanes in quarreling, to mention only a few.

 
 

Tags: , , ,

Our first Miss Universe’s ‘Sword of Damocles’

“It’s almost not safe to be an artist, the way everybody is randomly picking people to feud with.”

— Busta Rhymes

13006620_10206130189196605_589309284076281549_n

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — How many Filipino beauties have won the Miss Universe title in the past? Are they still alive? How are they doing now?
Because the Philippines is currently hosting the 2017 Miss Universe, people in other parts of the world might be asking some of these questions in random when they meet a Filipino in their countries.
If they happen to be in the Philippines as tourists or members of the pageant entourage, they must have already started asking some of these questions.
If Americans, for instance, will ask me all the three questions, I will answer them this: 1. Three, so far. They are Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), and Pia Wurtzbach (2016); 2. Yes, they are all still alive–and shining; 3. They are all doing fine; Miss Diaz is still active as movie and TV actress; Miss Moran, who is now Mrs. Moran-Floirendo, is a peace advocate and ballet executive; and Miss Wurtzbach will crown the 65th edition winner on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

RESOLUTION

Of course I won’t tell them that Miss Diaz, 65, had been declared as persona non grata through a resolution by the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines-Cebu six years ago.
I will tell my readers.
The organization has failed to rescind the resolution it passed on September 1, 2010 supposed to be in deference to the country’s hosting of the world famous pageant, which is ongoing, this year.
Apparently she wasn’t accorded the benefit of the doubt or the privilege of “immunity from humiliation” due an international celebrity and former beauty queen who gave honors to the country.
Or they must have overlooked the gaffe.
Isn’t it weird that the first Miss Universe crownholder in the host country has a pending enmity with a group of elected public officials in her own country; and no effort has been made to cross out the ruckus so that Miss Diaz would be shielded from embarrassment?

COMMENT

Miss Diaz’s nightmare with the vice mayors league started when she made a “constructive” comment after Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Venus Raj belted the controversial and now famous “major major” pidgin during the Q and A.
Miss Diaz suggested that Raj and other Filipino contestants perhaps would have strong chances if they utilized the services of an interpreter instead of answering in English.
“Because when you think about a Cebuana can hardly speak English, and, of course, Tagalog. Maybe she should answer in Bisaya,” she told ABS-CBN.
Many Cebuanos took umbrage at her statement and accused the beauty queen-turn-actress of insulting their English proficiency. Cebu politicians joined the outrage and demanded from her an apology.

SORRY

Miss Diaz, who stood her ground and refused to say sorry, shot back: “Let me clarify it once and for all. People should have the right to say or to answer (questions) in whatever language they want to say it in. If they’re Cebuanos, they can say it in Cebuano.”
She added: “I did not say that they did not speak English. If you’re Ilocano, say it in Ilocano. But if you’re Ilocano who speaks good English, say it in English. If you’re Cebuano who can speak Spanish, if you’re comfortable with Spanish, say it in Spanish. That’s what I said and that’s what I meant.”
When visiting dignitaries, fans and spectators start to think and talk about the Miss Universe winners in the host country, Miss Diaz’s name definitely will always occupy the presidential table.
They will talk about how good she has become as a soap opera actress, her awards and honors reaped in her stint in the entertainment and showbiz industry, her love life, her children and family, her health, and, your guess is as good as mine, her involvement in controversies–if there are some.

 

Tags: , , , ,

No terrorist will commit a hara-kiri in Dinagyang

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

— George Bernard Shaw

15231687_10208345768707238_507859276_o-copy

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — I grew up in Iloilo City in the Philippines and witnessed how Dinagyang Festival started as a ramshackle religious and cultural activity until it blossomed into a behemoth international attraction.
Since the actual street dancing Dinagyang festivities romped off in the 70’s, the real problem was peace and order–drunken revelries, ill-behaved drug addicts and gangs composed of skinny but tattooed teenagers.
No invasion of the third kind. No rebellion. No earth-shaking tumult.
There were incidents of mugging, snatching, vandalism, acts of lasciviousness, street rumble, stabbing, among other street-level crimes. The police handled the situation and nipped the troublemakers in the bud.
It’s the proliferation of illegal drugs, especially shabu, and the sales of liquor in the streets that should be regulated if not stopped during the week-long festival in the month of January.
Not the “jamming” of cellular phone signals.

JEOPARDIZE

When communication lines are shut down during important events, we jeopardize the comfort and safety of visiting tourists and the residents who update their relatives abroad on what’s going on in their locality.
Drug addicts and drunken dolts don’t use high-tech communication gadgets to create trouble. Police deployed in performance areas can manually overpower any amok in the crowd.
No real terrorists from other regions–or even outside the country– will commit a hara-kiri or kamikaze attack by sneaking inside the well-guarded Iloilo City, surrounded by treacherous rivers, just to sabotage the Dinagyang.
If they intend to extort, bringing an explosive device in Iloilo City is like holding a microphone in public and announcing that they would pee at Plazoleta Gay.
If they intend to send a political message, they will not only be barking at the wrong tree, they will be in the wrong place of the planet. Malacanang and Imperial Manila are several islands and regions away.
Good that the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) is reportedly not keen on recommending the jamming of mobile signals in the metropolis during the two-day Dinagyang highlights on January 21-22, 2017.

NECESSARY

Signal jamming or shutting down cellular phone signals is necessary and effective in events where the visiting VIPs in the country are considered as “security risks.”
Especially when the occasion attracts a large number of crowd like the recent Black Nazarene procession, which drew 1.5 million devotees in the streets.
Like when Pope Francis visited the Philippines on January 15-19, 2015. And when state leaders gathered for the APEC Meeting.
Or even during the 2017 Miss Universe coronation night where foreign dignitaries and high government and military officials would be in attendance.
Mobile phone signals may also be jammed if there are special police operations like the raids conducted in the shabu-infested National Bilibid Prison.
The purpose is to prevent terrorists and criminals from sabotaging the events or operations by knocking out their communication.

 
 

Tags: ,

Mr. Poverty meets Miss Universe

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” 

— Frederick Douglass

15231687_10208345768707238_507859276_o-copy

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — It is only the third time in history that the Philippines is hosting the Miss Universe.
The country also hosted the world’s most prestigious pageant in 1974 and 1994. As a host country in today’s modern age, we can showcase to the global village our culture, history, tourism, people, way of life, economic pulse through the power of high-tech media.
Unknown to many people around the world, the Philippines has been “hosting” Mr. Poverty since time immemorial.
In playing host to gigantic international events, the question that has been always badgering the Filipinos is: “Are we a rich country pretending to be poor, or a poor country pretending to be rich?”
Official government statistics showed that more than 26 million Filipinos remain poor with almost half, or a little more than 12 million, living in extreme poverty and lacking the means to feed themselves.
The Filipino poor have families of six or more members, with greater numbers of younger and older dependents, statistics showed.

EDUCATION

In the majority of poor families, the head of household has only an elementary education or below. These families have few or no assets and minimal access to electricity, water sources and toilet facilities. They also have limited access to health and education services, according to Gil Dy-Liacco, Development Assistance Specialist in USAID/Philippines’ Office of Program Resources Management.
About 26.3 percent of Filipinos were found to be living below the poverty line, a measure of the minimum income required to meet basic food and nonfood needs in the first three months in 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This translates to about 26.48 million Filipinos, based on the Philippine population in 2015 of 100.7 million.

INCIDENCE

The PSA said national poverty incidence stood at 27.9 percent of the population in 2012. It was at 28.6 percent, practically unchanged from the 2006 figure three years before, of 28.8 percent in 2009.
The 2015 survey also found that 12.1 percent of the population–roughly 12.18 million Filipinos–are living in subsistence or extreme poverty, meaning their earnings are not enough for them to eat three square meals a day.
This, too, the reports added, indicates marginal declines from the three previous years the survey had been taken. In 2006, 14.2 percent of Filipinos lived in extreme poverty; in 2009, the number stood at 13.3 percent, and at 13.4 percent in 2012.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 18, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, TOURISM

 

Tags: , ,

You want peace in Bacolod? Kick out Bing and Monico

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

— Mark Twain

13006620_10206130189196605_589309284076281549_n

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — As long as Monico “Nyok” Puentevella and Evelio “Bing” Leonardia are active in Bacolod City politics, the City of Smile can never have a political peace of mind.
The two archenemies are Bacolod’s version of Cromwell vs Charles I, Stalin vs Trotsky, Pompey vs Caesar, and Pizarro vs Atahualpa.
They will stop at nothing until they have totally obliterated one another.
The bad blood between the two Ilonggo leaders has escalated in epic proportions.
Whoever sits as city mayor will always be at the receiving end of tidal waves of graft and corruption cases, including their proteges who happen to take over while they are either under suspension or have been sacked.
Whoever between the two is the representative in the city’s lone congressional district will surely wipe his face with graft and corruption charges–real or imagined.
Graft charges have been their most abused weaponry to rock the boat whoever between them is in the helm or the sitting mayor and congressman, respectively.

OMBUDSMAN

When Puentevella was the city mayor, then congressman Leonardia peppered Puentevella with graft cases in the Office of the Ombudsman, one of which was related to the anomalous purchase of P26-million worth of computer sets that resulted in Puentevella’s preventive suspension for 90 days in 2015.
Leonardia, who ousted Puentevella in their epic match in the May 2016 mayoral election, was himself recently ordered ousted by the Office of the Ombudsman for neligence in the procurement of P50-million worth of furniture and fixtures.
Leonardia’s camp pointed an accusing finger at, who else, Puentevella, to be behind the “harassment.” Puentevella, as usual, feigned innocence as Leonardia wont to do.
Their counter accusations have become akin to a pot calling the kettle black.
Their long-drawn-out quarrel, although political in nature, has demoralized their respective followers in particular, and the Bacolodnons in and outside the country in general.

POWER

As long as they continue to wield power and influence, even if they are temporarily out as elected mayor or congressman vice versa, their bitter rivalry will hamper the basic services and operations in the metropolis’ seat of political power, in one way or the other.
If Bacolodnons want to bring back stability, harmony, and even sanity in city hall, they should stop treating the selection process of their mayor and congressman as like that of a game of Trip to Jerusalem between two angry slow-mo dancers.
They should stop limiting the positions of city mayor and congressman only between two harpooned and recycled gladiators.
They should elect fresh faces, new leaders with a reinvigorated vision and mission; leaders that possess humility and emotional intelligence; and modern political philosophy sans any shade of petty intramural and infantile bickering.
Bacolod has to move on; move forward even without Puentevella and Leonardia.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 16, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

Tags: , , , ,

Double standard in war vs illegal drugs

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”― Voltaire

13006620_10206130189196605_589309284076281549_n

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Here’s another case of “double standard” when it comes to dealing with characters involved in illegal drug trafficking in the Philippines.
If the suspect is a street-level drug peddler or drug addict, he is killed in a “shootout” with lawmen “after resisting arrest.”
If the suspect is a drug lord, he is accorded a “special treatment” by allowing him to face the media and destroy the reputations of authorities allegedly receiving protection money from the syndicate.
To add insult, the drug lord could escape prosecution if his revelations on the payola scandal would be proven based on the reports below.
Reports from Negros Occidental in the Philippines referred to one Ricky Serenio, 34, of Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City as “a drug lord under the target list of Negros Island Police Regional Office (PRO).”
Serenio, who has been placed under PRO’s witness protection program after he named several members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), court employees, and media personalities as among those who received regular “payola” from the “boss” he refused to name.

DISMISS

Being placed under the program could reportedly help dismiss the cases against Serenio, “if he can prove that his revelations are true.”
Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, PRO acting regional director, said Serenio, who is under the custody of the Regional Special Operations Task Group, is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives after police recovered from him a .45 caliber pistol with magazine containing five live ammunition and a fragmentation grenade when he was served with an arrest warrant for grave coercion at Rizal Street, Barangay Zone 9 in Talisay City on January 8, 2017.
Why place Serenio under the witness protection program if the evidence is sufficient to convict him in a fair trial?
If the cases filed against him will eventually be dismissed only because his revelations were proven, the public trust and confidence on our law enforcers will definitely be eroded.
When small fries are trampled like grasses and the big fishes get away with murder, it will defeat the “all-out war” campaign of President Duterte against illegal drug trafficking.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 15, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

Tags: , , ,