On the United Airlines Incident…

Apr 11

Yes, this behavior from stupid corporations is increasingly common. This was the appropriate response to overweening corporate power: Resist. Then sue the bastards for $10 million. They picked on the doctor because he was Asian and thought he would submit meekly. Stereotyped, racist thinking leads to big, big trouble.

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Boy Samples Toys

Apr 10

The boy tries out his toys, and he decides he likes them. Press this button and that delivers an airstrike 10,000 miles away.. Press that button and that sends a naval task force to a conflict zone on the other side of the world. Hey, hey, this is fun! Now what would happen if I press this button that reads WARNING: DO NOT PRESS UNLESS UNDER MISSILE ATTACK? Really, well, shit, nobody ever tells me what I can and can’t...

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Revenge of History

Apr 07

Francis Fukuyama, who famously said in the 1990’s that the “end of history” had arrived, with countries having no other path than to evolve towards western-style liberal democracy, came on the air on National Public Radio this morning and said liberal democracy is now in big trouble throughout the world, including the US. In Fukuyamanese, he said that the “democracy” part of liberal democracy was eroding the “liberal” part. I laughed so loud though when he described himself as a “dispassionate social scientist” that I almost ran a red light. I guess listening to Fukuyama while driving can get you into real trouble. You could become...

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Is the Philippines Now Paying the Price for Child Sexual Abuse?

Mar 23

Apart from the interviews with his family members, the most important revelation of Richard Paddock’s March 21, 2017, New York Times profile on President Duterte was the fact that as a child he was apparently much affected by the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Mark Falvey, a Jesuit priest, that he took revenge by spraying other priests with black ink with a water gun, for which he was expelled from the Ateneo de Davao. (Duterte revealed during the campaign that he had been abused by Falvey.) Falvey was eventually transferred to Los Angeles, where he continued to abuse other chIldren, unrestrained by his religious order. Given the massive psychological damage inflicted on victims of child sexual abuse, it is certainly relevant to ask to what extent the country is now paying for the acts of a sexual predator as Duterte engages in his interminable killing spree? The Church hierarchy must really police its ranks more effectively and discipline predators and turn them over to the legal system for the punishment they deserve instead of covering up for them, like the Jesuits did in the case of Falvey. How many more Dutertes are there out there waiting to explode owing to rage created by childhood abuse? Of course, Duterte is responsible for his own acts and must be held accountable for them; the point is one’s experiences as a child contribute to the formation of one’s personality, character, and values. Here is an account of what Falvey went on to do in the US after abusing Duterte and perhaps many others in the Philippines. Jesuits agree to sex case payout Nine people who say they were molested by Father Mark Falvey between 1959 and 1975 will divide $16 million from the order. May 18, 2007|John Spano | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer The Jesuit order has agreed to a tentative payout of $16 million to settle claims that one of its priests sexually abused nine Los Angeles children over 16 years ending in 1975. Mark Falvey was accused of molesting four girls and five boys between 1959 and 1975 at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Hollywood. Falvey died 31 years ago and was never charged with...

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A rapid response to President’s 2015 SONA address (also known as the “Cocoon Speech”)

Jul 27

The best parts were his highlighting his kasambahay’s invaluable role and Kaka Bag-ao’s transformation of politics in Dinagat. Not surprisingly, it skirted the hard issues, such as the DAP scandal (since that would reveal double standards in the Daang Matuwid), the Mamasapano raid, the failure of agrarian reform, and the continuing high rate of poverty and inequality. Deafening silence 1: continuing lack of acknowledgment of command responsibility for the 44 SAF and 17 MILF deaths. Deafening silence 2: no support for the Freedom of Information Bill. Much of the speech was reciting of statistics with little context. The part about Filipinos believing we will become a developed country in a few years’ time was meant to be inspirational, but that’s a hard-sell in a country where the daily reality for a very large part–some 28 per cent–is grinding poverty, where workers and farmers have been left behind because, as Dean Tony La Vina said this morning on Punto por Punto, “they were not priorities of the administration.” Some points were downright naive, like claiming that the fact that only 1 strike took place in 2013 was a sign of worker satisfaction (!!!) or that the lower numbers of OFWs deployed last year compared to 2010 showed people were gaining faith in the capacity of the economy to provide jobs and coming back home (!!!!). These last two points show how he is detached from the realities of working class and peasant existence and enmeshed in a ruling class cocoon. Overall, with 10 as tops, I would give the speech a 5.5 for credibility and an 8 for delivery.  Overall feeling: relief that this is the last SONA from him that I’ll have to sit...

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Presentation on Finance Capital and Greece

Jul 26

A few slides from my presentation at the forum on “Understanding the Greek Crisis,” sponsored by Focus on the Global South, Asian Center, University of the Philippines, July 24, 2015. Download

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