Tag Archives: United States

rePost::Kilalanin! A presidential forum moderated by Mike Enriquez on dzBB – Nation – GMANews.TV – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News

I’m beginning to think that all these presidential forums etc are only really helping the news organizations to drive viewers to their show. Why? Because if history has anything to tell us; People who vie for the presidency would lie,cheat,steal to get it. We have no way of holding them accountable. Even in an advance democracy we have Barack Obama lying about campaigning for the public option, what can we expect from our more gullible and manipulated media. I’m not saying that knowing your candidates views on stuff isn’t important. What I’m saying is that; what we should be doing is looking at what they earlier promised when they ran for public office and how they followed through with their promises.

Kilalanin! A presidential forum moderated by Mike Enriquez on dzBB

01/09/2010 | 05:35 PM

Listen to an audio recording of Kilalanin! – a presidential forum with four candidates in Alabang on Sunday, January 9, moderated by Mike Enriquez and broadcast on dzBB. The four featured candidates:

* Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III

* Richard “Dick” Gordon

* Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro

* Manuel “Manny” Villar

via Kilalanin! A presidential forum moderated by Mike Enriquez on dzBB – Nation – GMANews.TV – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News.

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rePost::Norman Borlaug, Michael Jackson, and the Invisible Hand | Angry Bear

But there is another problem which seems to be less highly recognized, namely that the whole concept of the Invisible Hand itself is bull$#^&. As an example, I’m writing this a few minutes after reading about the death of Norman Borlaug. He was a Nobel Laureate who developed disease-resistant and fast growing crops. Depending on who you ask, his work saved the lives of somewhere between a quarter of a billion and a billion people. So far. If we don’t all die in some sort of cataclysm in the next fifteen minutes, that number will only grow.

Now consider another person recently deceased – Michael Jackson. I believe Jackson was finally buried some time last week. Aside from being known the world over, Jackson was very wealthy, despite his clear incompetence with money. He probably made at least one dollar for every life saved by Norman Borlaug, so far. Norman Borlaug, on the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, did not. Furthermore, this discrepancy in income is very, very, very hard to attribute to government interference.

Which means, there are two possible alternatives:

1. Michael Jackson did more positive things for the world than Norman Borlaug.

2. Michael Jackson did less positive things for the world than Norman Borlaug.

There is no third option. None. Now, I think very, very few people, even die-hard Michael Jackson fans, when presented with numbers like “a quarter of a billion lives saved so far” would agree with option 1. Which leaves option 2. And if option 2, then the Invisible Hand is bull$#^&. Which means capitalism doesn’t work or is immoral. That does not imply any other philosophical system would work better, mind you, but trusting the market to do its thing provides perverse results.

via Norman Borlaug, Michael Jackson, and the Invisible Hand | Angry Bear.

I’m cleaning house. I wanted to post this last year but forgot about it.

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rePost::The price exacted by the anti-vaccine movement : Respectful Insolence

The most shocking part of this video is that the dead girl’s doctor didn’t believe much in vaccinations and in fact encouraged her parents not to vaccinate. My recommendation: Sue the doctor for malpractice. Given that I’m one of the “tribe” and have just as intense a loathing for malpractice attorneys and malpractice suits as any other physician, you can be sure that if I say that about another doctor I really mean it and really consider the offense to be egregious. Any pediatrician who discourages recommended vaccines is very likely committing malpractice. In this case, a girl died as a result; so there is demonstrable injury as a result of this physician’s negligence. Sue his ass. Maybe if more parents started doing this when their children suffer or die from vaccine-preventable illness because their doctors discouraged vaccination fewer doctors would be so cavalier about such advice not to vaccinate.

via The price exacted by the anti-vaccine movement : Respectful Insolence.

This is

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rePost::Tenure for Prof. Sarah Raymundo: Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”

Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”

Read / download this letter in PDF: Walden Bello on Sarah Raymundo

The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos

By Walden Bello*

Should President Emerlinda Roman fail to reverse the decision of Chancellor Sergio Cao to refuse tenure to Ms. Sarah Raymundo of the Sociology Department, this will be the final act of an academic tragedy.

Never has a tenure decision-making process been as flawed as this one. Allow me to cite the crucial points in this sorry affair:

– The majority of the department, by a margin of 7-3, votes to give tenure to Ms. Raymundo.

– The minority subverts this decision by manipulating Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lorna Paredes into sending the decision back to the majority to justify—a move that was unprecedented. Confusion ensues.

– The College Executive Board (CEB) of the College of Sciences and Philosophy upholds the majority decision to grant tenure by 7-1, with three abstentions.

– The Chancellor disregards this decision of the college’s highest governing body and decides against tenure.

But the blatant irregularity of the process should not obscure the key issue in the Raymundo case. Beyond all the procedural controversies that surrounded the affair was the fundamental substantive question: did Ms. Sarah Raymundo deserve tenure on the basis of her academic record? It was the position of the minority on this issue that was, in effect, legitimized by Chancellor Cao’s decision to refuse tenure.

The minority in the tenured faculty never formally based its opposition to Ms. Raymundo on academic grounds. How could they since Ms. Raymundo had an excellent publications record and superb scores on teaching evaluations, indeed probably the best in the department? Instead, the minority focused on an issue that was marginal if not irrelevant to the tenure process: that Ms. Raymundo allegedly lied about her association with a press conference on two students that had been abducted by the military. In any context, this would be a minor disciplinary matter that would be handled as such. Ms. Raymundo’s guilt or innocence on this matter should have been ascertained in disciplinary proceedings separate from the tenure process. Instead, the minority elevated this alleged infraction, for which Ms. Raymundo’s culpability had not been settled, into their key and only consideration in their recommendation for denial of tenure, arguing that Ms. Raymundo did not deserve it for “ethical” reasons. This might be difficult for people outside the department to believe, but this alleged infraction was the only basis of the minority’s recommendation to deny tenure! Could Chancellor Cao really be serious in dignifying this position?

Why did the minority act the way it did? Let us no longer tiptoe around what was really involved in the Raymundo case, which made the stakes so high. In disregarding Ms. Raymundo’s academic achievements and blocking her tenure for an unproven allegation, the minority was exhibiting a behavior that had long frustrated their other tenured colleagues and the junior faculty. They did not care about academic excellence. Most of them had poor teaching evaluations from students and their publications records were practically non-existent. The last major sociology texts they read, according to some students, probably dated two decades back. Two were in fields that were only marginally related to the discipline of sociology. Only two of them were trusted enough to handle a graduate class by their colleagues. They were not concerned with intellectual exchange, which is the lifeblood of any academic department, and they had reduced departmental life into bureaucratic humdrum. For them, being a member in good standing in the sociology department meant conforming to rules, not intellectual achievement.

Most members of the minority were, in effect, non-performing assets or, to use a kinder term lifted from Jonathan Swift, yahoos. Conscious of the power conferred by tenure, most of them terrorized junior faculty with their demand for conforming to rules, being the cause of a series of departures of bright and motivated young faculty. Not surprisingly, Ms. Raymundo, with her intellectual achievements, was seen as a threat by this anti-academic faction that championed mediocrity–one whose addition to the tenured faculty would have tipped the balance in favor of the pro-academic grouping.

The pro-academic grouping within the senior faculty, in contrast, saw Ms. Raymundo as an indispensable asset to the department, as one who could contribute to the revival of intellectual exchange and innovation in the department. This grouping, which was composed of Profs. Laura Samson, Filomin Gutierrez, Gerry Lanuza, Josephine Dionisio, and myself, saw the battle over Ms. Raymundo’s tenure as having implications beyond her. We saw ourselves as fighting not only for the future of a brilliant young colleague but for the future of the department itself.

The majority’s will was thwarted by an irregular decisionmaking process that was capped by Chancellor Cao’s copout. But this painful story would not be complete without calling attention to the role of some members of the tenured faculty who had endorsed the original majority decision but abstained in succeeding decisions. Academics well known for their contributions to Philippine sociology, they proved to be ethically supine, unable to display the courage to stand up for their convictions. Unwilling to antagonize the minority, they retreated from endorsing Ms. Raymundo and tried to project themselves as being ”above the fray.” They threw Ms. Raymundo to the dogs, and they will forever have that on their conscience.

The Sarah Raymundo case is reaching its final stages. Will President Roman reverse a terrible miscarriage of justice and reassert UP’s commitment to academic excellence? Or will she, like Chancellor Cao, render the final act in yielding the sociology department to the reign of the yahoos?

*Walden Bello, PhD, now serves as a congressman for the party-list Akbayan! The author of 15 books and numerous papers and articles on international political economy and other topics, he was a member of the tenured faculty of the Sociology Department from 1997 until May of this year. An editor of the Review of International Political Economy, he won the Gawad Chancellor Award for Best Book in 2000 and was named the Outstanding Public Scholar of the International Studies Association’s Political Economy Section in its 2008 Convention in San Francisco.

via Tenure for Prof. Sarah Raymundo: Rep. Walden Bello: “The Real Issue in the Sarah Raymundo Case: Academics versus Yahoos”.

Bakit naisip ko bigla dito yung song na Little People you tube sa baba:

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Little Person by Jon Brion

I’m just a little person.
One person in a sea.
Of many little people.
Who are not aware of me.
I do my little job.
And live my little life.
Eat my little meals.
Miss my little kid and wife.
And somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
I’ll find a second little person.
Who will look at me and say.
I know you.
You’re the one I’ve waited for.
Let’s have some fun.
Life is precious.
Every minute.
And more precious with you in it.
So let’s have some fun.
We’ll take a road trip.
Way out West.
You’re the one.
I like the best.
I’m glad I found you.
Like hanging round you.
You’re the one.
I like the best.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
Somewhere maybe someday.
Maybe somewhere far away.
I’ll meet a second little person.
And we’ll go out and play.

rePost:: Farewell – Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney



— By Ambassador Kristie Kenney, 5 January 2010

Although it seems like just yesterday that I arrived in the Philippines, nearly four years have gone by. And very soon it will be time for me to head to the United States to be with my family. It has been an extraordinary honor to represent my country in the Philippines, one of our oldest allies. I have felt very at home in the Philippines, perhaps because our two countries have so much shared history together. Our fathers and grandfathers shed blood together in World War II to protect our freedom. Millions of Filipinos live and work in the United States, and many Americans call the Philippines home. We are so much more than friends — we are family.

Our Embassy in Manila is large and diverse, reflecting the strong and deep relationship between our countries. I am so proud of the work our team does here. Over the past four years, we have seen new veterans’ benefits given to the wonderful and deserving Filipino World War II veterans. Those veterans have been like family to me, and I feel deeply honored to have heard their stories and shares time with them. They are true heroes to all of us. I am very happy that they received their new benefits during my time as Ambassador. And I am proud to have been made an honorary member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor although I am well aware that I will never come close to matching their courage and valor. Visiting the site of the Leyte landing, Corregidor, the site of the surrender in Bataan, and spending time at the U.S. residence in Baguio, where the World War II peace in the Philippines was signed, are some of my most cherished memories.

My memories of the past four years are as diverse as the Philippines themselves. I will never forget the rich cultures of Mindanao or the proud traditions of the Ifugao. I have loved the smiling face of every child our education programs have helped. The look of joy and wonder as they experience the Internet for the first time is unforgettable. Or the dedication of the teachers who serve from small rural schools to large Manila universities. (Sorry if my readers have wearied of me talking about education, but I am still the daughter and granddaughter of public school teachers. I always love helping education and those who teach.) In the Philippines, I have seen the wonders of the oceans and become dedicated to helping protect our environment. I’ve snorkeled with whale sharks, been diving in aquariums, tested jeepney emissions, talked to fishermen about sustainable fishing, seen our Peace Corp volunteers energize communities to create marine protected areas, and watched our USAID team design great programs with Philippine partners to promote clean energy and clean waters.

American business continues to flourish in the Philippines. Whether on the retail end where I’ve watched Gap, Banana Republic, and Krispy Kreme (to name just a few) open hugely successful stores or in the business process outsourcing sector, which has American companies in nearly every region of the Philippines now. What an exceptional experience to watch Ford cars be assembled, or Kraft foods test new products, or see “call center” agents talk to American clients from Davao, Baguio, Quezon City or Tacloban. And while I am a fan of Filipino food (especially lumpia and mangoes), I’ve loved being able to eat in McDonalds or get a coffee from Starbucks across the Philippines.

I’ve seen conflict areas where ordinary citizens struggle to provide a decent life for their families and hope we’ve helped give them the infrastructure and education to succeed. I’ve witnessed the bravery of the Philippine Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police as they tackle the tough opponents of terrorism, crime, and worked to combat poverty. In times of natural disasters, our partnership with Filipinos –with the AFP, PNP, LGUs and with NGO groups – helped get relief to those in need whether in Manila, Northern Luzon, Iloilo or Bicol. The resiliency and compassion of Filipinos under the most difficult of circumstances is amazing and inspirational.

On a personal level, it has been a joy to hear the musically talented Filipinos. It has been great fun to share the Filipino passion for sports and to watch great college and professional basketball games. The legendary Filipino hospitality has welcomed me into homes across the country from the humblest provincial dwellings to the grandest Manila homes. I’ve learned from Filipinos to cherish family, no matter how great the distances between family members. I’ve learned from Filipinos to take time to celebrate the big and small moments in life and that in doing so, you create lasting memories.

President Obama has nominated Harry K. Thomas, Jr. to succeed me as the United States Ambassador to the Philippines. Harry Thomas is a career diplomat who has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh and has held leadership positions in Washington, D.C. as well as key positions in U.S. Embassies in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia. He is an experienced diplomat who is also a close personal friend of mine. He will be a wonderful United States Ambassador to the Philippines, and I know Filipinos will give him a warm welcome. His nomination is now pending before the United States Senate, which must confirm him before he can assume his duties in Manila.

This will be my last blog post as the United States Ambassador to the Philippines. I thank all who were kind enough to read and comment on my blog. It has been a privilege to represent the United States in the Philippines. I thank Filipinos throughout the world for the kindness and friendship you have shared with me and so many other Americans. And I hope our paths will cross again. Let me close with an old Irish blessing that has always been a favorite of my Irish-American family:

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

via Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney.

I have to confess that in my short life Ambassador Kristie Kenney has been the most accessible Ambassador sent to the Philippines in my view.  She shows in some ways how most future ambassadors have to be. The waning of US economic might means the old ways (hope to read THe End Of Influence to broaden my knowledge in this)  of diplomacy by US Ambassadors must change to a more collegial consensus building way, How equals treat each other. In this way Ambassador K Kenney save for a few blots in her record (subic rape case??) becomes the poster child of the new State Dept. I wish her and her family well, and may she be received in her next assignment , with the same warmth that we showed her, for she has shown that she deserves it. (I know how UGLY the previous paragraph was. I’m just really irked with something work related arrggh)

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Best Read::Rejecting the Normal < Anthropologically Speaking

We have become blind to a lot of these things because we are used to them, because they have become part of us. We have become used to our commuter bus drivers handing out that note to the policeman at the roadblock, to reading in the newspaper about a number of extra-judicial killings by the police, to hearing about ‘accidental discharge’. We are also used to the sound of a certain kind of hoot in heavy traffic, a hoot that signifies that an important dignitary is being ferried across in an important car, escorted by a van-full of MOPOL. Of course, the main reason the person is important is because they are a foreigner. We are so used to these things that we have become numb to them.

We must begin to rouse ourselves out of this complacency and ask questions. Are bribes openly given to or extorted by the police and extra-judiciary killings normal in a democracy? What is the government doing about them? Will any political party make them campaign issues in 2011?

via Rejecting the Normal < Anthropologically Speaking.

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rePost::Philip Guo – Understanding and dealing with overbearing Asian parents

I’ve always wondered how overbearing Filipino Parents are compared to other Asian American Parents. Care to enlighten me? Interesting read!!!

When your parents were growing up, the only people who lived somewhat comfortable lives were either corrupt government bureaucrats or the well-educated elite who went to top-ranked colleges. Chances are, your parents didn’t have insider connections to government bureaucrats, because otherwise they would’ve been living a comfortable life back in their home country and wouldn’t have wanted to get out of there. That means, in their eyes, there was only one path that could lead to a comfortable life in the future: Doing well in school and getting admitted to an elite top-ranked university. This isn’t just idle speculation, either. Your parents actually saw what happened to their classmates who got bad grades and were unable to get into a good college — they are now ass-poor, living in unhealthy wretched conditions.

Seriously, this is no joke. When your home society doesn’t provide any opportunities for personal advancement, the only way to make a decent living is to play by the rules of the establishment. And when the establishment relies purely on grades, standardized test scores, and college reputation for assigning jobs, then no wonder your parents are so obsessed with those things! They don’t realize that in America, the C-average students who went to community college can actually live a decent life rather than rotting away in sewage-ridden slums. No matter how many times you tell them that you won’t be homeless even if you don’t attend a top-ranked college, they will never genuinely believe it; their traumatic childhood experiences left a far more powerful impression than your words ever will.

via Philip Guo – Understanding and dealing with overbearing Asian parents.

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