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Category Archives: ELECTION

Google it, kapitan

“Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.”

— Simon Mainwaring

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — We won’t be surprised if President Rodrigo Duterte will next invite detained Senator Leila de Lima to dinner after Vice President Leni Robredo.
The President might also invite in the future his chief critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and all those who have tasted real terror from his cussing and threats.
It’s another story if they accept the invitation.
After all, Judas dined with Jesus. Voltaire had a sumptuous meal with Catherine the Great.
The President has always been unpredictable. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
The right had accused him of siding with the left when he allegedly made a “sweetheart deal” with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison during the campaign period.
But when President Duterte terminated the peace talks with the rebels, their doubts about his being a pro-communist were gone.

-o0o-

LEADERS of the smallest political unit in the Philippines are in the news nowadays now that there is a proposal that instead of electing them in October, President Rodrigo Duterte intends to just appoint 340,000 of them nationwide.
The number includes both the village chiefs or barangay chairs and council members.
The proposed appointment process is facing major legal obstacles, but whether they will be appointed or elected, it’s certain, barring unforeseen circumstances, that we will have new or reelected barangay leaders before end of the year.
We suggest to all those aspiring to become village chiefs to at least study the rudiments of technology.
It may not be mandatory for them to have college degrees, but in this age, they have to be at least technology-literate. Especially those living in urban areas.
Everything is now operated by technology — communication, transportation, monitoring systems, financial transactions, among other basic necessities and services.
They can expedite their transactions and important messages to their constituents, their mayors, and the police if they are updated with the latest wonders of technology.

SERVICES

Our village leaders will be left behind–and basic services will be delayed and stymied–if they don’t even know how to use or operate a smartphone, a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, Internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications.
There are instances when village officials can’t immediately rely on their secretaries like when a visitor suddenly goes directly to them to inquire about some important information.
With the use of Google in their laptops, tablets, or mobile gadgets, the matter is addressed with alacrity and dispatch.
It’s understandable though that there are incumbent village officials in far-flung barangays, or in places with no electricity and concrete roads, who haven’t even touched a computer.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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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.

 

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Councilor Ganzon ‘usurps’ functions of mayor, cops

“To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”
―Tacitus

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW JERSEY –– It’s the job of the police to warn gangsters and their leaders not to create mayhem in public. Or round them up.
They are paid to run after hooligans and other troublemakers in society.
To maintain peace and order, police are tasked to neutralize any group engaged in criminal and terroristic activities.
If peace and order worsens, the city mayor may order the police to safeguard the civilians and protect government properties.
Police are mandated to use force (but not excessively) if the situation warrants. Although they are also trained for physical confrontation, police may negotiate for peace to avert a spill over of violence and bloodshed.
Under the Local Government Code, the executive department, or the city mayor and provincial governor, with law enforcement at their disposal, wield awesome power.

FEUD

In Iloilo City in the Philippines, a city councilor, “worried” by the increasing dangers posed by feuding gangsters in the metropolis, wanted to act both as city mayor and police.
As chair of the city council committee on police matters, Councilor Jeffrey Ganzon has asked Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) acting director, Senior Supt. Remus Zacharias Canieso, to provide him with police escorts as he planned to meet leaders of the 25 to 32 gangs operating in Iloilo City.
Ganzon wanted to personally “appeal” to the rowdy teenagers to stop creating trouble. He also wanted to talk to their parents. Nice.
In hindsight, Ganzon’s gesture deserves an accolade. He did not ask to be paid for the heroic act. What’s wrong if he wants to volunteer for the field work?
We were surprised though that nobody from among Ganzon’s colleagues reminded him during their regular session last January 9 that dealing with problems on street gangs was the job of Senior Supt. Canieso and his cops.

RISK

Members of the legislative branch gobble up their time in debates to hammer out quality resolutions and ordinances.
They aren’t elected to risk their lives marching on lairs of street ruffians and strike a deal with minions of the underworld.
Only in Iloilo City where a member of the local legislative body appointed himself as “peace emissary”, bypassing the executive office or city mayor.
He also “demoted” himself to act as foot patrol cop (with escorts to boot) for a tete-a-tete with bedraggled youngsters.
Because Ganzon reportedly plans to run for city mayor in 2019 (his supporters believe he will win if his opponent is his one-time tormentor, Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III), Ilonggos should expect to see him perform more extra jobs that would boost his public image and unwittingly “usurp” the functions of police and city mayor “in aid of legislation.”

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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‘Duterte hard to predict than Trump’

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Describing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as “an emotional person”, the director of New York University Center for U.S.-China Relations considers the Filipino leader as “more difficult to predict” than US President-elect Donald J. Trump on the issue in the South China Sea.
“If it’s difficult to try to predict Mr. Trump, it’s even more difficult to predict Mr. Duterte. So I really don’t want to be in the position of trying to predict how he would behave,” David B. H. Denoon, also professor of politics and economics, told foreign journalists in a briefing for the 2016 presidential race hosted by the New York Foreign Press Center (NYFPC) at The Westin New York Grand Central, November 8.
Denoon said there are some people who think that Mr. Duterte “is clever and that he is essentially just trying to negotiate and play China against the United States, and that he thinks he can keep the United States as the Philippines’ most important ally while insulting the American President and saying a number of very rash things.”

MINISTRY

According to Denoon, “the foreign ministry in the Philippines has tried to back down from some of the things Mr. Duterte said in Beijing, when he said he wanted to break off the relationship with the U.S.”
He added: “I don’t think we know what he’s going to do. I think he’s very, very hard to predict. I would say the Philippines would be an absolutely critical country for anyone who believed in the original concept that Secretary Clinton put forth in terms of rebalancing towards Asia. Because if the Philippines turns out to be pro-China or hostile to the U.S., given its location close to Taiwan and given its location close to Malaysia and Indonesia, that would change the strategic balance.”
“The same thing is true of Malaysia, however. Malaysia is much smaller, but if you look at its location, the eastern provinces of Malaysia are next to Indonesia and next to the Philippines. If Malaysia becomes pro-China, then it’s going to have a dramatic effect within the region.

DIRECTION

“The only country that has moved in the other direction and become more critical of China in the last few years is Indonesia, where the president has become extremely antagonistic to the Chinese role in Indonesian waters. In fact, Indonesians are the only people in Asia who have sunk Chinese fishing boats and have captured Chinese civilians.
“So I would say the problem with trying to predict Duterte is that we don’t know whether he’s just bargaining or whether this is his true set of views. But certainly the mainstream public in the Philippines is very positive towards the United States, and they’re all scratching their heads over what he’s trying to do.”

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Opinions: Clinton rips Trump in first debate

“I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.” Margaret Thatcher

By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Fil-Am voter Delia Gatmaitan of Queens did not cook dinner and “we decided to eat what was left in the refrigerator so we won’t miss the debate” last night (September 26) between presidential nominees Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party and Donald Trump of Republican Party.
Gatmaitan, 66, and live-in partner, Raul, 28, a Hispanic immigrant, both Clinton supporters, have been waiting the first presidential debate since August.
Their housemate, another Fil-Am voter, Darcito Bartolome, 70, a Trump supporter, was also glued to his TV set monitoring the event at the Hofstra University in Hempstead on NBC channel, one of the networks that broadcast the “live” debate.
Like many partisan observers, they were divided on who won the first of the series of debates.

CIVILITY

According to Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, “Civility went south fast in Monday’s debate.”
She said, “Donald Trump lost his composure early, ranting, interrupting (over 20 times) and sniffing. (Under the weather, or out of his comfort zone?) Hillary Clinton started out soft, playing the grandmother card, but quickly escalated to tough talk and occasional sarcasm. It could hardly have gone otherwise. Clinton hit hard at Trump, bringing up his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his ‘long record of engaging in racist behavior,’ his denial at having supported the Iraq war, and his refusal to allow the American people to see his tax returns.”
A specialist in 20th-century European history, Ben-Ghiat added: “In doing so, Clinton did Americans a big favor: she revealed Trump’s limitations. He is simply unable to make those leaps of imagination and generosity necessary to transform from a businessperson to a national political leader.”

SMALLNESS

She stressed further: “The candidate who claims to do everything big showed the smallness of his thinking tonight. With his off-key rejoinders, he demonstrated repeatedly how he sees everything — people, properties, cities, and entire countries — in terms of how they factor into his business and personal universe, which seem to be one and the same. I’ll get to Pennsylvania Avenue one way or another, he said tonight, as though the White House and his new Trump hotel are entities of equal importance. Perhaps they really are, in his mind.”
“Clinton alone demonstrated the composure, wisdom, and broad vision necessary for executive office. She won the debate hands down,” she explained.
Activist and television commentator Sally Kohn said “Trump’s train went off the rails.”

TRAIN

Donald Trump’s supporters like to refer to his movement as “The Trump Train.” Well, tonight The Trump Train went off the rails. Big time, Kohn pointed out.
“Admittedly, to many observers, the train was already way off track. Maybe it started the moment his campaign began, when he dismissed Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists.’ Or maybe it was when he attacked Sen. John McCain. Or later, when he attacked a Gold Star family. Certainly, many Americans have paid attention to the media’s attempts at fact checking — including one report that Trump only tells the truth 22% of the time, and another that found in five hours of talking, Trump outright lied an average of every 3 minutes and 15 seconds,” she observed.
Kohn added: “But for those who somehow thought, up until Monday night, that Donald Trump might somehow be qualified to be president, Monday’s debate was a wakeup call. He seemed like a defensive, petulant bully who could only insult Hillary Clinton and America — and couldn’t offer a single solution, let alone details. He came across as not only dreadfully unprepared for the debate, but dreadfully unprepared to be president. Which is the truth. And it’s high time all Americans know it.

BIASED

“But don’t believe me. I’m obviously biased. Believe Frank Luntz. In his live focus group of undecided and leaning voters, just six people thought Trump won while 16 said Clinton was the victor. In moment after moment, the focus group preferred Clinton. For instance, Clinton’s response to Trump’s attack on her stamina scored better than Trump’s attack. And Hillary’s plan to defeat ISIS actually scored better with the Trump leaners in the group than with the Clinton leaners.
“In moment after moment, Hillary Clinton presented a knowledgeable and clear-eyed vision for how to help working families and continue America on the path to security and prosperity. Donald Trump, in contrast, lied, and got defensive. He was petty and insulting, and then lied some more. Lies apparently can only get the Trump train so far. Eventually it runs out of steam.
“Hillary Clinton showed herself to be the kind of person you want in the White House. And Donald Trump showed himself to be the kind of kindergartner who should have his train taken away and instead given a timeout.”

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Don’t insult your friends

“If you can’t ignore an insult, top it; if you can’t top it, laugh it off; and if you can’t laugh it off, it’s probably deserved.” Russell Lynes

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — We don’t need to lose quality friends only because of friction and animosity during the election season.
While there are heightened emotions brought by partisan politics, a friendship can only be shattered if we insult one another especially in the social media.
We can crack jokes for the sake of discussion, but if we resort to insults and belittle our friends, egos will be bruised. Relations will turn sour.
If our friends don’t support our candidates, we don’t denounce them and assassinate their character for supporting another candidate. Vice versa.
Our friends don’t have “poor choices” only because we don’t agree with their candidates. Vice versa.
They are not “stupid” or “idiots” for insisting that their candidates have the best and better platform of government. Vice versa. Some words hurt like daggers especially when they come from friends.
Respect begets respect. When we heap insults, they will boomerang. The law of cause and effect.

COME AND GO

Election season come and go. We keep friends, the good or quality ones, come hell or high water, if needed.
Even before Grace Poe had thought of running for president, friends have been “tagging” each other with many interesting videos, website links, quotations from Buddha and Shakespeare, etc.
Even before Mar Roxas filed his candidacy for president, friends have been swapping ideas and suggestions involving apolitical issues.
Even before Rodrigo Duterte disclosed his intention to seek the highest post of the land, friends have been “liking” each other’s posts with added emoticons.
We can always cast aspersions on the candidates we don’t like. That’s normal in the dirty world of politics. The candidates themselves won’t mind the slander.
Positive or negative publicity is still a publicity. Public Relations 101.

ATTACK

Politicians are accustomed to attacks, verbal and written abuse; mockery is part and parcel of being a candidate for an elective office.
Political rivals engage in mudslinging and pull each other down to improve their rating in the surveys.
Politics, after all, is nasty. We can’t expect the voters to look up at all politicians as role models. There will always be offensive remarks and bashing in mass media.
But let’s spare our friends who support or campaign for another candidate. Let’s respect their choices.
When emotions simmer down after the election of our new set of public officials from municipal council to the president, friends will always be friends.
Let’s hear the speech of Abraham Lincoln: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Election fans, fanatics clash; burn bridges

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Winston Churchill

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Days or weeks after the May 9, 2016 polls, Mar Roxas, Rodrigo Duterte, Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Grace Poe will greet each other when they meet accidentally in the airports, hotel lobbies, government offices, and other public places.
Let bygones be bygones. Let’s now put the furor whipped up by intense politicking behind us and move on, they will gamely tell each other.
Life must go on. Live another day. Laugh and the world will laugh with us. Cry and we cry alone.
How about their followers? Some of them are also currently at each other’s throats, bitterly and violently.
Others have burned their bridges; some have declared Armageddon.
Friendships shattered permanently because of partisan politics.

JOKE

“Magbiro sa lasing, huwag sa bagong gising” (play jokes on a drunk, not with someone who just woke up from a sleep) was a popular but succinct warning given us in jest by friends in the Philippines.
The caveat is loud and clear: it’s easy to handle a drunken master than a person whose temper can’t be tamed even by a dose of spirit of ammonia.
This goes also to the two warring camps in the blue and red corners in this election season: the fanatics and the fans.
The rift among supporters of candidates in the May 9 presidential and local elections has gone from bad to worse that the warning level has been optimized to “(you can) argue with fans, (but) shun the fanatics.”
Some people find it more healthy and lively to converse with a fan of a particular candidate and more risky and deadly to engage a fanatic in a debate.

AFICIONADO

A fan is merely an aficionado or admirer, while a fanatic is a person who is zealously enthusiastic for some cause, especially in religion and now politics.
A fan can afford to smile, relax and understand the standpoint of another person. A fanatic is always seething with anger, reluctant to admit his shortcomings, and is willing to kill or even die for his candidate.
A fan likes or admires a certain candidate because the candidate amuses and makes him happy.
A fanatic is a fan to the point that he is obsessed with the candidate he is a of and he might even try to hurt someone who is not a fan or is a fan of a rival.

DEBATES

From round-the-table intellectual discussions among friends to heated debates in the coffee shops, barber shops, including the social media, fans and fanatics clash like warriors in the Battle of Arbela.
While it’s not yet certain who will win the electoral contest, both the fans and fanatics should slow down and refrain from releasing hurting words, or throwing verbal expletives and insults that’s hard to heal and difficult to forget.
Jose Mari Chan has a good suggestion: “Can we just stop and talk a while?”

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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