People and Things that Piss Me Off

What to expect: stuff written with a slightly elevated sense of everything else.

An Argument for a Philippine Mega Bomb for New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Pinoys love a show and there’s no better evidence than our annual war zone celebration — New Year’s Eve!  Every year, we get to have loud bangs from firecrackers, mixed in with a bit of added gunfire to fill the evening.  Mix that in with a sprinkling of alcohol induced stupidity and we have a superb deadly party!

Gunfire, stray bullets killing people.  I guess gravity is one of the less than well-received lessons in school for some people.  Appealing to these dumbasses won’t do much.  They can’t even appreciate gravity and accept the fact that there’s no handgun, yet, that can propel a bullet to reach escape velocity.  As of this writing, I think there are already some victims of stray bullets coming from indiscriminate discharging of firearms into the air.  Last year, some kids died from those stray bullets.  I pray that the dudes who fired those weapons last year won’t fire their guns again this coming December 31st.  If they do fire those things, I hope they won’t hit anyone this time.

Firecrackers, loud noises and bangs, that’s a from a borrowed Chinese tradition of scaring away evil spirits.  Less evil spirits, less bad luck,  But hey, when people accidentally die from these explosives, aren’t we adding to the restless spirits that roam the night?  That’s if you believe in restless spirits.  I am sure dogs and cats won’t appreciate the explosions, though.  And one more thing, with all explosives we’ve set off over the years, I think the evil spirits have already circumnavigated the globe and are actually on their on their way back here.  So, good luck with that.

Just a quickie thought, why don’t we just invest in a giant bomb to drop like the New Year’s Ball in New York?  That way, we meet the quota of dead people and loud noises in one mega drop.  That’s the ka-boom we’ll remember for one year.

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Just Saying

I’ve noticed the recent spike in the use of hateful words online.  You can blame that on what’s been happening in the country.  Yes, there was the Zamboanga siege, the Bohol earthquake, the PDAF scam, and Typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath.  On my feed in Facebook, I can always spot strongly worded comments in the news related items.  Online, people fashion themselves as experts, even with limited information in their hands.  I don’t blame the people for being angry at everything that blows up as something wrong or a scandal in the country.  They have every right to be.  However, I noticed that even propaganda pieces end up as truth for some people.  These just add to the confusion and hate. 

The internet could be a number of things to a number of people. From my point of view, I can just look at it as a portal of knowledge and a vessel of emotions.  While I would ideally want that people should focus on the knowledge aspect, one cannot ignore the fact that people sometimes get “editorialized” versions of information.  People are predisposed to make an opinion on almost anything, even using wrong information as basis.  Here in the Philippines, ranked as a leading user of social media and where TV gossip shows rule time slots, having internet freedom is almost like giving everyone a gun to shoot everybody else.    People should have to at least digest the information first and not just stop at reading the headlines before they shoot their mouths off online.

In my very humble opinion, if you pass information that could lead to more confusion during times of crisis, do have second thoughts about it.

Just saying.

Real-world Solutions for the Philippine Condition

As I type this out in my microscopic room in the Philippines, more rain probably came down from the heavens, Janet Napoles is probably snoring in her Sta.Rosa, Laguna jail, and the troops of Misuari are getting high (as reported in the news).  Each day passes in the daily telenovela that passs off as a country called the Philippines.  With the telenovela comes a lot of drama and that drama always finds itself online.

Watching people online regularly made me realize this:  The Filipinos are an angry bunch online.   They’re mad at how government treated them so far.  They’re pissed off when there are floods.  They’re rabid whenever they get stuck in traffic.  They froth in the mouth whenever the PDAF scam is brought up and would probably love to drive a bamboo pole through Janet Napoles and have her spit-roasted, serve her up with senators as garnishing.  One can easily sense that anger in posts on Facebook, Twitter, feedback forms on blogs and on news sites.  In previous issues, the commentary on news sites had been unforgiving during the time of PGMA scandals, the RH debates and Corona impeachment.  Online, people will go at it just to prove whose piss goes highest.  People will post angry stuff whenever they can.  I just do not know if any “real” working ideas came out of these exercises of mental masturbation.

I know that there are people from all over the country who try to do their part in coming up with solutions, from enlightening the masses to organizing mass action; they should be commended for doing so.  Government will always say that it is doing its darn best to serve and there will be people who will always state the opposing view.  For most part, I do believe that most people are too engaged in their own thing to bother engaging those sitting in the halls of governance to come up with ways to have the system serve the people better.   In other words, this country is locked in a self-perpetuating cycle that will take generations to break and people are too busy to notice.  Honestly, I don’t think that I will still be alive when I can see my fellow Filipinos shout to the world that they are no longer poor.  With that, I’d like to see solutions that can benefit ME today, and possibly in the future.

It is time to park the BS on the side of the straight path.  Let us all be practical about where we want this country to go.  I propose the following solutions to the Philippine Government and the Filipino People:

  1. Budget appropriation for creation of the National Time Machine and Multiverse Transport.  It will be an instant exit for those who want out of the country and its troubles.  Once completed, this machine will be for all those who wish for the following:

    Maybe we can just get people in a hot tub. It might work.

    • Martial Law to come back.  I originally wanted a Marcos reanimating machine but ruled against the moral implications of bringing someone back from the dead.  The time machine is better and is more flexible in application.  I am sure that the hordes of loyalists will appreciate this machine and treat it as a complement to the highways and roads built by the former strongman.
    • Declaring this country as part of the USA.  Getting someone into a more influential position to declare the Philippines as a US state would be easier in the past than in our current position.
    • Those who think that we should all be in an alternate universe where this country didn’t make the decision of heading off into wherever current state it is in right now.
  2. Budget appropriation for the creation of the National Smart People Multiplier Pill for Smart People.  Simply put, this amazing pill greatly improves the fertility rates of the smart people in the country.  I put this proposal forward for the following reasons:
    • Realizing that the Catholic Church won’t budge on its anti-RH position and government would always be pressured by it, there has to be a middle ground in the reproductive health and population debate.
    • This is also for the people who believe that the poor dumb people vastly outnumber the rich smart people and thus should be excluded from making their thoughts felt in the national scope.
    • When the population hits critical mass and there won’t be enough food to go around, the smart people will find a way to make the dead dumb people AND dead smart people palatable enough for human consumption.  Hungry people won’t complain about the food they eat.
    • This amazing pill will also be the solution for all the Filipinos who think that understanding satire should be at the vanguard of intellectualism.  There will be more people around who are full of themselves as the next Juan.  This will also save them the trouble of calling someone bobo or tanga online, as if it makes them instantly smart.
  3.  Budget appropriation for a National CCTV + Internet Access system with instant YouTube, Facebook and Twitter upload with optional person zapper function and optional instant selfie function with optional auto-background selection AND super-dooper smile enhancing function.  People can have the following:
    • Sure, we all want someone watching over us.

      News (or sex) as fresh as it can get.  People don’t have to wait for a “scandal.”

    • The power to zap people as they see fit, for justice and for the heck of it.  They can obsess with public officials not doing their jobs or simply bully someone through the internet because they can, and this time with real physical pain.
    • Post decent selfies of themselves whenever they’re not too concerned with national issues.
  4. Budget appropriation for a National Cross-stitching Program.  This is simply for the people with too much time in their hands.  This will also work well for government employees who prefer to scratch their itchy hands using  Philippine Pesos.

These proposals, I believe, will make this country great again.  I humbly submit them, or not.  If the people don’t like these ideas, their alternative is always to suck it up and productively deal with it.  Useless anger can only give us high blood pressure.

Porkster Boys/ Girls and Other Fatty Pork Barrel Thoughts

Brain on.

***

An amazing thing happened in the Philippines in the past two weeks.  After being bitch-slapped since 1987, the people actually got pissed-off with how the government does things.  The people appear angry not just at one person but the entire SYSTEM.  Three years of Tuwid na Daan (the straight path) and a promise to abolish the pork by saintly son president PNoy were not enough to stop people from cancelling an indignation rally set on August 26.

Oh, boy.  I think the masses are really mad this time.

Anyway, I find it refreshing since the call for a protest came from different people around Facebook, not your usual radical “we’re just angry at everything” leftists.  This came after the weeks of being exposed to the lavish lifestyle of Jeane Napoles, daughter of Janet Lim-Napoles, the woman who allegedly robbed this country blind through her NGOs.  Add the floods because of the monsoon rains, the COA and DBM reports to the fire…and BOOM! I guess the experience of swimming in rat piss, trash and shit while plunderers party was simply too much.

The future’s lookin’ really bright…(image via http://www.solarnews.ph)

Drawing a parallel here, if my recollection is correct, this kind of mass action hasn’t happened since President Erap’s ouster in 2001.  Text messages were enough motivation for people to come out and pressure Erap to step down, although he would say otherwise.  Thanks to the trial back then, people had tons info for a conviction in their minds.  President Estrada was the crook who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  He was the crook with the mansions and the girls.  He was the crook called a crook by a fellow crook.  Oh, and the sight of a dancing senator during the impeachment trial, icing on the cake!  All the people needed was that feeling that they’ve been taken for a ride, much like what we have today.

Lovable, am I not? (image via pcij.org)

I guess people would always need to put a a face on evil for them to take action, or even just get plain old mad at something.  Dancing senators are a rarity.  Today we have a birthday party video.  I just pray we don’t get a lot more of these in the future.

Citizens should take part in how they mold this country into something that works for everyone, not just those in power. I pray that people learn to choose their leaders based on what they plan to do with the issues important to them.  Hopefully, come 2016, people won’t be in the dark when it comes to decision making.

***

A friend of mine expressed concern about the march on August 26.  He said that protests only serve to destabilize the image of the country.  A part of me agrees with him but I am still going to that indignation rally.

Just a thought, if people would participate more in governance, then maybe protest actions would be a thing of the past.  I still wonder if the people even bother to check their congressman or even their mayors, barangay captains and councilors.  Oh, wait, we need freedom of information.  Scratch that thought.

***

Personally, I’m more of the school of thought that congress is acting like vestigial organ of the Philippine system. It is lost on defining its true function.  It cannot even decide whether it wants to be a legislative or executive body.  It has to take a stand somewhere.  I know the judiciary has its slow wheels of justice turning.  I know that the executive branch is executing something, not someone not like in its previous incarnations.  The legislative?  It needs a serious PR blitz.  It should legislate itself into positive light.  Maybe if there was freedom of information, congressional good deeds might come out of the digging.  A big MAYBE on that one.

***

It was also the height of hypocrisy when members of the senate suddenly changed footing on the PDAF.  What made them think that the time to abolish it is now?  Is it public pressure?  Why didn’t some of them actively push for its abolition before?  I find it funny that statements come short of saying that it’s their first time to hear of pork abuse.

I consider the PDAF the height of callousness of government.  It is the best evidence that government has a wall between itself and the people.  The excuse that some projects won’t materialize without the PDAF should be taken as a slap in the face by local executives and their constituents.

Bottom line for me right now is this:  Better Budgeting and Transparency.  Enough bullshit already.  Even if it was the Dalai Lama running the Philippines, I would still go for transparency like a hungry dog.

***

If you look at how events are unfolding, it seems the biggest winner would be PNoy.  Honestly, I love how his team handled this crisis.  PNoy will get out of this one with just some mild scratches on the surface.

  • With stricter PDAF controls, PNoy gets to retain power over both houses of congress.
  • By positioning himself with pseudo-pork abolition, he wins over the thoughts of some people.
  • With the release of the COA and DBM reports, LP gets to slip a jab on some potential opponents in 2016.

***

Brain off.

Same News, Different Day

Reading the past week’s news is almost like a trip through a time machine or a wicked case of Groundhog Day.

There’s news about cheating in 2004.  There’s news about corruption in the past administration.  Come to think of it, most news IS about corruption in the past administration.  If former P, now CGMA, is a publicity hog who doesn’t care about good or bad publicity, she’ll probably be in her own little version of nirvana.  She’s in narcissist heaven.

Oh, aside from news about her, there’s the constantly simmering discussion about RH.  Like, can’t the gov’t grow a pair of mighty balls and decide already?  It’s as simple as a go or no-go.  After that, the rest of RP society will settle in a new equilibrium.

Anyway,  one thing is certain.  The recycling of news is simply because issues in this country is always left unresolved.  Even now that her supposed ally has been out of the way for several months, it still appears that she’s a fly being hunted using a shotgun.

Now, in some papers and opinion columns, I read ideas about “moving on” and “forgiving” the past president.  Like, we’re not close.  I’m not even an acquaintance.  Isn’t this a reason why we have systems?  So that we don’t have to get too emotional about issues?  Let’s be objective.

Like, why do we have to forgive GMA or any alleged crook?  Hell, it doesn’t really matter if we forgive them or not.  Just file the case.  Prove them guilty.  Send them to jail.  That’s enough.  Frankly, as a taxpayer, I’ll take concrete actions and results over the drama.  Seriously, I think one reason why nothing happens in this country is because we love talking our issues to death.  We just love checking how people feel about things.  The bigger issues are not just talked to death, they’re even talked to death in front of media.  It’s as stupid as those news interviews where a reporter asks a victim of some nasty crime the stupid question “how do you feel?”

I guess the best suggestion for gov’t is to just abolish the justice system and assign the role to media.  The next step will be to put remote “like” or “unlike” buttons on TV sets.  If we’re going to do a trial via publicity, we might as well do it properly.  WTF.

Sidebar thought:  If anyone should complain about cheating in the 2004 presidential elections, I mean aside from the FPJ camp, it should be Noli de Castro.