rePost::Messaging, the media, and Haiti – Chris Blattman

Is robbery so endemic? One of my wife’s colleagues, a veteran of dozens of catastrophes and crises, is amazed by the (relative) calm and absence of looting. She reports storefront windows broken, but the goods behind intact. She’s seldom seen a crisis so under control.

Most journalists I know are keenly aware of the impact of their work on public opinion and policy. Donations and immigration relief have happened so quickly and so generously in part because of the quick and impassioned reporting on the ground. But looters and thugs on the front page only bolsters impressions that Haitians are ungovernable. This is a tragedy if untrue.

via Messaging, the media, and Haiti – Chris Blattman.

It’s important to have a good filter to determine what the media is and is not reporting. This helps us get a more accurate view of what is happening.

rePost::Ban them –, Philippine News for Filipinos

Got this from vince.  I believe that a gun less society or at least a society where guns are locked up at the police station or the police are at constant alert and anybody else with a gun outside of designated areas are automatically criminal can be enforced. Imagine how cool that would be, people still medieval enough to have blood feuds have to fight with swords and other like weapons.

Nandy Pacheco was the first to have the eyes to see the one thing that is there but should not be there. At least he was the first to try to do something about it with his dream of a Gunless Society. I don’t know if that dream is entirely realizable, but I know that we can, and should, stop the sheer flood of arms tumbling like “Ondoy” into these shores. The only thing worse than a country not being able to feed its population is a country not being able to feed its population while being able to arm it.

The notion that guns do not kill, people do, is idiotic. If Ivler had only his fists with him when he met Ebarle, Ebarle would still be alive. The most sober citizen is prone to road rage, among many other rages he is prone to in this country, and far better that he unburdens himself with curses than with bullets. Guns addle the brain worse than drugs. With drugs you can only harm yourself, not others. Might as well say shabu doesn’t kill, people do. Power does corrupt and absolute power absolutely, and nowhere does power reside more absolutely than in the hand with the gun. A proliferation of guns, with its attendant culture, swagger and fetish, warps a society as surely as the proliferation of cancer cells does a body. We need books, not guns.

Buy the book, ban the gun.

via Ban them –, Philippine News for Filipinos.

rePost::15. Inside Terry Gilliam’s head | JessicarulestheUniverse

On the fence whether I was going to watch this. Now, I probably will.

Imaginarium is the film Heath Ledger was doing at the time of his death, and it takes three fine actors to fill the vacancy: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell. Having four actors play the same role usually leads to confusion, but in this case it actually makes sense—the character’s appearance depends on the person who’s looking at him. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus feels like a big, fantastic pop-up book: the spectacle overwhelms the story, but do you really care?

via 15. Inside Terry Gilliam’s head | JessicarulestheUniverse.

rePost::Honesty or Corruption? | Filipino Voices

How true are these statements? anybody care to comment?

3. Villar passed measures “to make Pag-IBIG Fund contributions compulsory and to increase housing investments with the SSS.”

“Pag-IBIG is a main source of funding of Speaker Villar’s companies.”

Honesty or corruption?

4. Villar “incorporated in the landmark Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act, Republic Act 7835, the recapitalization of the NHMFC, and the amendment to the Agri-Agra Law to include housing investment.”

It “mandates banks to extend to housing loans not utilized for agriculture and agrarian-reform credit. In other words, loanable funds for agriculture and agrarian credit are to be re-channeled to housing, Speaker Villar’s business.”

Honesty or corruption?

5. Villar co-authored House Bill 11005, which “increased the capital of the NHMFC” and is the main source of funding of Speaker Villar’s companies…. President Estrada admitted that the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp. is at present bankrupt.… Increasing the capitalization of a bankrupt government financial institution benefited Representative Villar’s housing companies.”

Honesty or corruption?

6. “All lands covered by CARP [Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program] cannot be used for residential, agricultural, industrial or other uses unless a clearance, conversion or exemption for a particular property is first issued by DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform].”

“Speaker Villar’s companies are developing or have developed 5,950 hectares or almost 60,000,000 square meters of CARP land into residential subdivisions without the appropriate DAR issuances that would authorize such lands to be used for residential purposes.”

Honesty or corruption?

7. “Manuela Corp. applied for and was granted a loan of P1 billion by the SSS…. Another P2-billion loan would be syndicated with another government financial institution, the GSIS. Total syndicated loan from the two GFIs: P3 billion.

“Manuela Corp., a housing and realty corporation, is owned by the family of the wife of Speaker Villar. An indirect financial accommodation.”

Honesty or corruption?

via Honesty or Corruption? | Filipino Voices.

rePost::He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For – Paul Krugman Blog –

He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For

Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man who was offering hope and change, is this:

I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.

In short, “Run away, run away”!

Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership. Barney Frank seems to have thought better of his initial defeatism. But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

via He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For – Paul Krugman Blog –