Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 PHILIPPINE BUDGET ON TIME AGAIN ― ANG GALING NAMAN NI NOYNOY!!!


The before-year-end passage of the national budget for next year is widely considered a good thing showing ‘good governance.’ 

Look at Mr. Daang Matuwid himself, Noynoy! Aquino, being able to enact the 2011 and 2012 General Appropriations Acts by the Decembers of the preceding years.


EVERYBODY HAPPY!

I have a different take on it. Noynoy! is setting record-high budgets ― even accounting for inflation ― two years in a row now. This latest budget for 2012 amounts to P1.816 trillion, or over $40 billion.

Why would the House and Senate prolong proceedings with government agencies? Who’s going to complain? The national government is being handed a larger slice of the pie of total national output! What more could they ask?

And we’re not even considering the Priority Development Assistance Fund, which is what really matters to Congress.

So you can take this ‘solidarity’ of Congress, which is according itself to the expensive will of the president, as a good thing (Hwaw! How efficient!) ― or as a sign that government is becoming bigger, more controlling of our lives. 

To me, it is becoming more obvious that the sustenance of government is governments raison d’être.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

MY ECONOMIC WRITINGS FROM COLLEGE, a.k.a. I WAS A STUPID SOCIALIST TOO


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ve realized that it’s authored by a complete idiot. But would you believe, I was even stupider back in college? I thought of posting some choice passages from an ECON101 written project I submitted back in the third quarter of 2000.


FORGIVABLE ERRORS

There are two types of errors I am sharing here. The first involves mis-learning the stuff I was taught, such as defining budget deficits as having “less expenditures than revenue,” which is actually a decent definition of profit.

I also claimed that increased US dollar reserves made for a weaker Philippine currency. Actually, peso depreciation is caused by an increased demand for dollars, which reduces BSP dollar reserves.


ERRORS THAT PROFESSORS TEACH THEMSELVES

But even more grave, in my mind, are those errors that are propounded by economics professors themselves, and encouraged by them.

Read my simple-minded denunciation of profit, and you might detect a little bit of yourself as well:
The members of OPEC are really out there for the money, and if they can get away with cutting corners in their deals they’d be game for it...

...  The less supply of oil there is, the higher the prices will be, and of course the money gained from this will go to those wonderful wonderful leaders of those great nations that are part of OPEC. They can’t lose! Sure people will hate them, but what’s a few cuss words thrown at you to a few more thousand bucks? Despite the lack of effort of OPEC ministers to meet their quota, there has to be some way to get these people to actually produce what they’re supposed to.  Maybe a few more privileges in their own government positions, as long as it doesn’t trample other people’s rights. But thinking about it, it’s pathetic to bribe officials in order for them to do their work right. I believe then that a country’s citizens just have to be able to pick people who they know are in their positions in order to serve the people...

I know better now, that it isn’t the money objective that is the problem, but the means by which such is attained: intergovernmental cartel. And I actually wanted to increase privileges of these guys! It’s such muddled thinking that makes people associate public service with government work. So it really doesn’t surprise me to see such twisted thinking in the news today.

Plus, I ignored that even OPEC couldn’t raise prices limitlessly, since if people couldn’t afford oil, it simply won’t be bought, and alternatives will be sought, as damaging as this may be ― if the OPEC officials aren’t overthrown in a violent uprising that is.


RICH-POOR CLASS CONFLICT, AN EXCUSE FOR THE STATE TO EXIST

Here’s another classic:
The richer are able to gain more money because it is them [sic] who do business with international companies. The poorer people though would depend on the supply of money of their employers, and they wouldn’t be given raises.

Aside from the mistaken use of the term ‘supply of money,’ I am supposing that salaries are determined by compassion of employers. In fact, wage rates come from demand among firms who bid/compete for manpower. I resorted to simplistic explanations, due to my then-inability to consider other factors that are in fact more far-reaching ― central banking, to name one.


BAD ‘EMPIRICAL’ METHODOLOGY

I also agreed with a Financial Times article by Andrew Oswald that saw a direct relationship between oil prices and the unemployment rate. This is a very typical methodological error, of linking two figures as it suits a certain purpose, rather than analyzing a priori.

I said:
... when oil prices go up or down, we are affected much in the same way since the same amounts are used up in our incomes. Since everybody spends on oil, plenty of what happens in life is affected by it, especially jobs. When oil prices are down, more people can afford oil, so employers are better able to afford more employees. When oil prices go up, it’s hard times for everybody and so more people lose their jobs.

The real question is: what is causing these price distortions that make employing more people, and pricing products beyond costs, unprofitable?

Costs do not determine value; they are derived from the perceived value of end-products. For crude prices to go up when the final product is sellable only at a lower price, is partly a central bank-induced miscalculation explained by the Austrian theory of the business cycle. This same theory, a monetary one, also explains unemployment in terms of being a miscalculation. Because certain projects turn out to be not as profitable as earlier assumed, unemployment eventually rises.

But apart from monetary considerations, the cost-theory of Oswald and my decade-ago self is still wrong. When demand for crude increases in relation to its supply, this is indicative of less products that are perceived to be demanded. And this drop in consumption does not make for future investment/employment, because there is also no additional capital diverted to such a purpose.

[August 6, 2013 addition: I do not know why I was so critical of the Oswald statement. His focus on unaffordable prices is just a different way of looking at an inadequacy of resources for producing what once was produced. Having admitted that, the relation of high prices to unemployment is still not causal, but merely indicative.]


ECONOMIC GROWTH IS NOT SECTOR-SPECIFIC

I also thought that an increase in computer chip exports would make for a bigger economy. But output growth is not about any specific sectors’ expansion. Rather, investment makes for more domestic, or foreign, business; it really doesn’t matter where it happens.

Now if we’re talking about foreigners patronizing more domestic products, then capital increases locally; but this isn’t what makes for any growth in world GDP ― it is always capital accumulation that makes for future growth.


FINAL REMARK

If you are a wanna-be do-gooder immersed in the propaganda of mainstream economics, know that you are not alone: there are millions of morons like you. Thankfully, with time, and with a willingness to go beyond the traditional sources of education, you can know enough to realize what an idiot you were back when you were a moron.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES: RHETORIC AND REALITY


Noynoy sucks. Two thumbs down. Nothing personal.

It’s been a year and a half since the election of Benigno “Noynoy” C. Aquino III as president of the Philippines, and Filipinos in general seem quite satisfied with the choice many of them had made. Even with the election honeymoon over, Aquino enjoys a net satisfaction rating of 56%, according to the September 2011 survey [opens in new tab] by Social Weather Stations, one of the country’s most prominent polling firms.

A large part of such a high approval rating comes from the perceived ‘cleanliness’ of the present administration, especially relative to his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who had been subject to failed impeachment cases every year for the last five years of her nine-year stint as chief executive.

Sure enough, Aquino’s exposés of government corruption and wastefulness during the Arroyo administration affirm, at least in the minds of many Filipinos, the incumbent president’s commitment to rid the Philippine government institutions of corruption. Aquino’s most famous campaign slogan was “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap [Literally: “If there are none corrupt, there will be none poor”]. When evaluating Aquino’s success, two questions come to mind: Is the administration defeating corruption, as it claims? And are we to see a reduction in poverty?

The following article fixes a very critical eye on Aquino; he fails on both counts. Surely not pleasant to hear, but in the long run, tough love and not complacent cheerleading makes the difference between progress and failure.


A DEMOCRATIC LEGACY

Dong Puno, national hero
In 1986, Aquino’s mother Corazon C. Aquino assumed the presidency, with strongman Ferdinand Marcos fleeing to Hawaii after being forsaken by his military chief of staff Fidel V. Ramos (himself becoming president in 1992). International opinion had also shifted in support of what was soon to be branded as “People Power,” of millions marching into the streets calling for the downfall of the dictator.

President “Cory,” whose husband Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino, Jr. had been gunned down three years earlier, has since been known as an icon of democracy. It was her death on August 1, 2009 that gave her son Noynoy the impetus to run for president the following year. It is quite understandable why the incumbent president’s rise to power has a ring of destiny to it. The challenge, however, is in translating such high-minded ideals into economic gains for the people who are supposedly represented by such a democratic rule.


MODERN DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW

Salma, granddaughter of economist Friedrich A. von Hayek
In ‘Law, legislation and liberty,’ Friedrich Hayek notes the relatively recent transformation of the concept of democracy, from one of equal application of the law by which civilization has come about, into a pretext for government interference in the accomplishment of particular goals. These particular goals have their adverse, long-term consequences, as they go against an efficient social arrangement preconceived by no single entity.

Modern democracy supposes that a law is just, not by virtue of some universal standard, but by having been legislated by elected representatives of the people. Hayek, however, points out that this is a recipe for social disorder because the ‘laws’ thus created would require coercion to implement, contrary to the freedom necessary for market transactions, the choices of which tend to make for an efficient use of scarce resources.

Today, the right to property, previously recognized as essential to just society, is quite ironically attacked in the name of “social justice.” With modern notions of democracy in hand, a government can go about crafting its policies as it sees fit, in the belief that these are good ones effected by “the people.” Government policy, in effect, becomes a hodge-podge of concessions to politically privileged sectors, without regard for and contrary to general rules of conduct that otherwise make for voluntary and mutually beneficial social interactions.

It is perhaps the “impersonal” appearance of Hayek’s ‘rule of law’ that makes it less appealing than the grand designs cooked up by politicians and supported by their constituents. The current Philippine situation is just as good an example as any of such demagoguery.


NARROW CONCEPT OF CORRUPTION

Merry Christmas everybody!
By confining the concept of “corruption” to secretive deals, much of government policy becomes acceptable, as socially detrimental as these may actually be. Moreover, this limited view of corruption does not impede the growth of government, the enlarging of which results precisely in the corruption scandals that make it to the headlines.

To lament the misuse of taxpayers’ money while merely calling for ‘government reform’ or ‘greater government oversight’ is the equivalent of keeping the cookie jar in the lower shelf and getting upset when your six-year-old finishes all the cookies. By merely looking for scams to squeal about to the public, and not advocating a radical rationalization or reduction in government offices, Aquino and his Cabinet are keeping the figurative cookie jar within reach of nasty elements.

Much of government action is an exercise in irony. The scandals that plagued the Arroyo administration, and those before and since, are typically one-shot redistributive programs that had promised to aid a certain marginalized sector. As bad as these may be, it is not sufficient for Aquino to focus his energies on unearthing such anomalies. More relevant and pressing are the long-standing programs whose corruption is indistinguishable from the offices themselves, e.g. Bureau of Customs, Department of Education, etc.

Both Ninoy Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos were 

fascist-communist-socialists, and loved cronies 

disguised as the market. Alas, as with all politics, 

there was only room for one gang leader in town.


QUOTE PRO-BUSINESS UNQUOTE


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE GIFTS OF BEING LIBERTARIAN (CHRISTMAS 2011, PHILIPPINES)


‘Tis the season of gifts. I’m talking about Christmas of course. I thought for this 2011 season to discuss the blessings of my being a libertarian.

But first, let me give credit for this article idea, to Harry Santos of HarryLeaks.blogspot.com. I just hope this doesn’t overshadow his article when he comes around to publishing it!


PRE-RAMBLE

I’m really just a boy from the Philippines who has been awakened to the true nature of government. Perhaps my being libertarian doesn’t make me any happier than others, nor does it make me ‘better’ than others ― although I argue below that some aspects of my character are improved thanks to it. But this newfound awareness is more than just about feeling happy or vain.

Dane Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) differentiated Judaism from Christianity, by pointing out how the former had to do with worldly happiness (bountiful harvests, plenty of sons and daughters, etc.), and the latter was precisely about carrying one’s cross without hope for better days on earth.

Now I think Kierkegaard was a really depressed dude, and I’m all for material prosperity and good social relations, but he makes a good point that his beliefs were to be believed not for any apparent gain but simply because they were right and true, which is how I feel about libertarianism. I could not do otherwise.


GIFT 1: A HUNGRY KID IN AFRICA? NOT MY FAULT

As kids, we were told to finish our meals, because many people in the world are starving.

Read this (opens in new tab) 

for a hilarious The Onion article on hunger! 
We tend to think that the enjoyment of whatever wealth we have is subtracted from other people’s joy. The fact, however, is that poverty in one place is not the effect of prosperity elsewhere; rather, the conditions for prosperity existing elsewhere are not yet established.

The ‘trickle-down effect’ is ridiculed by those who’d like to see government redistribution instead. However, ‘trickle-down’ is a misnomer, implying that, yeah, let’s let the rich folks accumulate more money for themselves, some of it will eventually get to the poor.

Actually, when an entrepreneur or investor gets to keep more of their capital, this makes for jobs and incomes now even though profit for these ‘capitalist pigs’ comes later, if at all. Furthermore, products come into the market, as affordable to the consumer as the production process allows (the more previous savings, the more efficient).

More jobs, more wages, more consumption. Can we really call this system ‘trickle-down’?


GIFT 2: WOW! CAPITALISM

Reese’s Pieces come from these? Fuck yeah!
The last few weeks, I caught the History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ twice. Man, I love that show! Seeing how cola and chocolate come from obscure fruits, and are transformed into their familiar version by a very meticulous and capital-intensive process, and how consumers have an endless variety of products from which to choose, I couldn’t help but raise my fist up high in saluting freedom!

I wouldn’t have as beautiful an appreciation were it not for the time I’ve devoted into studying the ‘boring’ field of economics, free-market economics that is.


GIFT 3: MY EYES HAVE OPENED

In ‘JFK’ (1991), D.A. Jim Garrison’s wife complains that in pursuing the Kennedy murder trial, he has changed. To which Garrison responds:
Of course I’ve changed. My eyes have opened... I had a life too, you know! You can't bury your head in the sand like an ostrich, Liz! It's not about our well-being, our two cars, our TVs and your kitchen! It's about our kids growing up in a shithole of lies. I'm angry! My life is fucked because of it. If you could see it that way, you'd see your life is fucked too.

I’m not quite as deep in shit as Garrison was, but what has happened to me is that I’ve been freed of so much, truly so much, bullshit. Even when facts are accurate, the interpretation of such is likely wrong.

Becoming a libertarian, contradictions cease being contradictions. How is it that being held up by a petty thief is wrong, but being taxed unwillingly by a government, every fucking day, is accepted? But the two instances are both outright theft, I have realized.

All this nonsense dressed up as rhetoric from politicians, who are deluded themselves into believing the stuff that comes out of their mouths. Each time you read from their hack columnists about how climate change caused Typhoon ‘Sendong,’ or how ‘stimulus’ will bring the economy back on track, you’re being fed a lie, or at best, a fallacy.

It’s a liberating feeling, to be among the few who know better, who recognize media for the gag show that it is. This adds to my feeling of being elite, sure, yet please indulge me this, for all the opposition and misunderstanding I encounter.


GIFT 4: APPRECIATING MARKET POPULARITY

I’ve always been a snob when it comes to the arts, specifically music. And because of this elitism, I could very well have become a fascist, thinking that, because the lowest common denominator is crude and shallow, there is a need for Plato’s ‘philosopher-king’ to be in charge, to make the right decisions and thus uplift society.

Top-down approaches to social change never work, I know this now. What’s more, the philosopher-king-dictator is in a quandary as to how to make decisions that are ‘better’ than what the masses would make otherwise.

As Ludwig von Mises said:
The entrepreneur’s [or consumer’s] commercial attitude and activity arises from his position in the economic process and is lost with its disappearance.

To be a genuine music snob, you have to know 
counterpoint. Listen to one of the greatest 
examples of it here (opens in new tab).
No matter how abhorrent commercial trends may be, in music, fashion, food or whatever, this could not be turned around by inflicting coercion on those who don’t know better. A national leader may be of the opinion that the music of J.S. Bach is the supreme intellectual achievement, but does this mean that imposing his preferences by the threat of a gun will bring ‘enlightenment’ to the masses?

If there is a ‘need’ to educate and refine the populace, it does not follow that government is the institution to do it. In fact, people should be educated precisely about the dangers of government.


GIFT 5: NOT BEING AS MUCH OF A JERK

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WHY NOYNOY! SHOULDN’T BOTHER WITH ‘SENDONG’


Can you really blame Noynoy! naman?

Wow our great president Noynoy! Aquino, of noble blood, strength of a bear, courage of a lion, etc. is getting hell of a lot of flak from people who want to see him in Cagayan De Oro assisting in relief efforts for victims of Typhoon ‘Sendong.’ 

Basically the idea is that, “You’re supposed to take care of us!”

Ano siya, magulang? People are likening the son of a bitch to a dad who isn’t there for his dengue-stricken kid. “Where were you when I needed you? Hu-hu-hu!”

Why is he, or anyone for that matter, ever put in the position of being responsible for an entire country of 100 million people?!


IF YOU HATE HIM SO MUCH, WHY GIVE HIM ALL THIS POWER?

The problem actually is that relief efforts are stunted to the degree that government has sucked resources out of the economy, in all sorts of ways, for example, a monopoly on weather forecasting, and ‘public’ ownership of denuded forests, the logging of which is now being blamed for the excessive flooding.

And when things go wrong, as they eventually do with government, it is the top dog, in this case Noynoy!, to whom people look for assistance.


IF GOVERNMENT SUCKS SO MUCH, WHY PREFER IT TO VOLUNTARY MARKETS?

Surely his incompetence in disaster management (hindi man lang nagpa-photo op!), and the government’s overall incompetence, is more indesirable than whatever mistrust people have of the ‘free market’?

But people usually never get to weighing these the political and the economic ― squarely.


GOVERNMENT AID AS ‘REFUNDS’ OF A SORT


With all the expropriation and prohibitions, the private sector is drained and to a certain degree needs to be recipient of capital taken from them.

But in order for these crises not to happen again to the same extent, the overall attitude of people has to change from a blind illogical faith in elected gangsters (politicians) to a trust in decentralized processes (markets, i.e. the people themselves). 

ECONOMIC CALCULATION AND WHY YOU CAN’T THINK OF WHAT TO GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS (PHILIPPINES 2011)


Check out this article for some really awful gift ideas!

The past two days saw me wandering around the mall. I still have yet to buy gifts for two members of my family. Awhile ago, in desperation, my mind turned to the great economist Ludwig von Mises.

In his 1920 essay ‘Economic calculation and the socialist commonwealth,’ Mises forever refuted the possibility of the state ever allocating economic resources in any meaningful way, apart from what remains of markets, where individual preferences manifest via prices.


“WHAT WOULD HE/SHE WANT?”

As a child, Ludwig von Mises never got 
what he wanted from Santa. 

This would one day lead him to his 

economic calculation argument 
against state control of resources, 
i.e. socialism.
I applied this theory to my attempts at shopping: The reason it’s so difficult to buy gifts that are genuinely appreciated by the beneficiary (i.e. apart from counting ‘the thought’) is because the gift-giver is pretending to know what another person wants, even though the person who best knows is the beneficiary themselves!

Sure there are some successes in gift-giving, where you buy something that the person hadn’t quite come to buy themselves yet. Or you might have access to the gift that the person doesn’t. Or you might have more money. Or something.

But by and large, people have to settle for token gifts, or gifts that could have been better chosen in some way or another. This is why I am proposing a new system to the whole gift-giving process.


MY PROPOSAL

Instead of giving gifts, it would be better for each individual to list down people to whom they would normally give gifts. Let’s say you’re able to think of 10 people. Next, list down things that YOU would like to receive.

If you buy all these things, in the name of your friends and family, you’ll be a more satisfied recipient, won’t you? And if everyone does this, people would be a happier bunch at Christmas!
“Alright! Just what I wanted!”


WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

Of course, kids are usually economically deficient, and would be ‘lugi’ in this new system, unless their parents/guardians tell them:
“Fuck surprises; come with me to the store and choose what you want among all the toys around.”


FINAL HIRIT

Sure I’m being slightly ironic here, but there’s a lesson to be gleaned: if it’s hard enough to look for gifts for people you know, how much more difficult, nay, disastrous is it for vote-seeking bureaucrats to satisfy the people. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHAT CAN IMPEACHED CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA DO AGAINST NOYNOY! ANYWAY?


It’s too bad that Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona had to descend to the level of media statements against his counterpart leader in the executive (Noynoy!). Till Corona declared ‘war’ against elements of the administration seeking to take him down, he at least had the advantage of ‘being the better man (whatever that is worth).’

But really, what can Corona do, aside from arguing his case against a possibly biased Senate court in the impending impeachment trial? Noynoy! has all the guns, not to mention support of a populace that doesn’t quite perceive the threat posed by an arbitrary interpretation of ‘law.’

What does Corona have? His sheriff? The security guards in the Supreme Court compound in Padre Faura?




‘MERE TECHNICALITY’ VS. JUSTICE


Even if we grant that Corona is an ally of former president Gloria Arroyo, his votes in en banc decisions have their constitutional basis, and affirm human rights (at least in the case of GMA travelling). If the Supreme Court is to err, it is better to err on the side of rights protection.


The reason ‘mere technicality’ has won out, against Noynoy!’s vision of justice, is his prosecution’s fault. That is no reason to trash the court. 


And if Noynoy! was to trash the court and its decisions, why not have the other GMA-appointed justices impeached? Why Corona alone? And is the House of Representatives so blind in their allegiance as to believe that decisions are written by one guy?


And why criticize the supposed court holiday when it belittles their decisions anyway?

By the way, I never watched this series.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE OLD!

It’s quite sad to see my friends who work in the Palace or Cabinet, take defense of this steamrolling. Being too close to the action probably bars their judgment.

I remember how during my time in the government, the Liberal Party was still a minority, i.e., Cory Aquino had not died yet.

Three years later, the Liberal Party is the new ‘Lakas.’

Someone who has gone through such a change and has come out ahead might be tempted to think that, finally, good has triumphed over evil. In truth, it’s simply a matter of transforming into the status quo.



Below: Just a funny video with a steamroller in it. From the first  ‘Austin Powers’  movie.

Monday, December 12, 2011

RENATO CORONA, SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE, IMPEACHED: DEMOCRACY RULES!


Politics will always be a numbers game. This is even more apparent in the Noynoy! administration than in the previous one.

Arroyo never managed to control the Palace, the Supreme Court and Congress at the same time. But now, with the Chief Justice position potentially open pending a Senate verdict, Noynoy!, in the name or all that is holy, will have nothing to stop his Mandate of Heaven.

Not that I think he’s a bad guy, at least, not any worse than a random politician. And I’ve always found anti-GMA dude Antonio Carpio a (relatively) better choice for chief justice. 

But an imminent unrestrained expansion of government powers ― including the setting of bad precedents and greater wanton spending ― is the worst threat, no matter how ‘nice’ the politician, no matter if he’s the brother of our dream girl Kris Aquino.

‘LA RAFLE (THE ROUNDUP)’ ― ONE OF THE BEST WWII MOVIES YOU’LL EVER SEE

It’s not the dead you have to beware, it’s the living.
‘La rafle’ (2010) is better than ‘Schindler’s list.’ Nothing against Spielberg; each Holocaust tale is a unique one worth being heard by millions. But I really appreciate how writer-director Rose Bosch presents the roundup of 13,000 Jews in Vel’ d’Hiv, France with little sensationalism, making for a more convincing presentation of events.

Quite importantly, it shows how normal guys, upon wearing soldier uniforms, are made to do the cruelest things to their fellow people upon the say-so of higher powers. Some are totally gung-ho and eager to please, while others need all sorts of self-justification (“They’d shoot me... I have kids!”). 

Either way, the amazing thing is that responsibility for such atrocities is shirked:
But that’s what the law says.
or maybe
Just following orders.


COMPASSION

But in the film, there are some soldiers (French ones) who saw the senselessness in the roundup. Whether it was by offering water, or offering to send messages to Jewish kin, these soldiers ― to the extent of their authority ― tried to ease the Jewish prisoners’ burden.

In one scene [Mini spoiler alert], a soldier is aware that the ID held by a young Jewish girl indicating she’s the non-Jewish wife of the chief plumber, is fake. Yet he simply hands her back the ID, saying “Well played.” It was in these small ways that the film pretends to show how lives were spared.[Spoiler alert off]


FREEDOM HAS ITS SCAR

[Kind of a spoiler alert] At the end of the film, the few survivors are evidently scarred for life. The very last scene, of one of the kids (Jo Weismann, an actual survivor), has him staring into space, as though in his mind, he is constantly on the lookout for a familiar face. An irresolution to the story is thus conveyed.[Spoiler alert off]


UNRESOLVED INDEED

After World War II, it doesn’t seem possible that mass murder could ever be tolerated anywhere in the world. After all, there’s the United Nations! And it’s the 20th century for God’s sakes (well it was the 20th century)!

Yet the 1960s saw Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution that killed at least 30 million Chinese. In the 1970s, Pol Pot exterminated 1.5 million Cambodians, a quarter of the country’s population. And of course, the Middle East and Africa are replete with examples to this very day of slavery and terrorism. Even in the ‘land of the free,’ the US, the police state is ever-growing. And forget how central banking is the driving force of ‘the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer,’ worldwide.


BUT WE’RE DIFFERENT FROM THE NAZIS!

Nationalism, as exhibited by Nazi sympathists, seems, to the average Filipino who appreciates platitudes like ‘Country above self’ and ‘Ialay sa inang bayan,’ as something totally alien. We seem to think that the majority of Germans in the 1930s were so stupid as to be duped by Hitler, whereas the ‘Give back to your country’ crowd is an honorable people of high-minded ideals. Such an attitude is total bullshit of course.

Once you get the idea that statements like ‘Save Philippine jobs’ or ‘Proudly Philippine made’ have any moral worth, you’re on the way to seeing human interactions as essentially conflict-based.


THE STATE IS AN EITHER/OR THING

Au contraire, society is based on cooperation of individuals under a private property framework. Conflict is the rule when governments are involved in any way. To the extent that markets are shunned, by definition, individuals’ control over their lives is shunned, in favor of elements of the state.

It would be a shame if, say a new war is started and you’re made to do things to others that you wouldn’t otherwise do, you excuse yourself by saying “But they made me do it.”


NOTE: I used to post my film reviews in my Free Market Movie Reviews blog, but what the hell, this blog is visited more. But really, do find a copy of this excellent film (make sure there are subtitles). It will and should stay with you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NOYNOY! AN ANARCHIST! DOWN WITH THE STATE!


Because punk is all about anarchy
“Isn’t this what you want,” a reader tells me, “for people to not heed the government? So why are you complaining when Noynoy ignores the Supreme Court on moral grounds?”

It is true that I think that the state judiciary does not dispense justice. At least, it doesn’t do so on account of its coercive nature.

If a private property system were paramount, court decisions would be recommendatory, where one is threatened with loss of social standing, as opposed to an attack on their person. A convict’s future interactions and transactions will be limited to the degree that a judgment is given weight by other property owners.


WE’RE NOT FREE ENOUGH FOR THEM TO IGNORE THE COURTS

In the case of idol Noynoy! making pabida by chastising Corona’s Supreme Court to Corona’s face, he is jeopardizing the means by which ordinary people can be protected from abuse of monopolistic police powers.

Free people should be free to ignore court rulings if these go against the people’s sensibilities. But the thing is, we’re not a free people. For a constitutionally-created entity ― the executive ― to ignore the Constitution’s delineation of powers, is the prelude to greater police infringements later on ― all in the name of morality of course.


PARANG EDSA DAW, ULOL!

It’s not like Noynoy! can liken his defiance even to the EDSA revolutions. Otherwise, he would be able to assert that all Supreme Court decisions under Corona, and not just the ones unfavorable to the administration, are void. And he wouldn’t bother being represented in any of the court’s pending cases either.


FINAL WORDS

Vote Noynoy! for Chief Justice!
It’s apparent that, failing to prosecute GMA on any legal basis, Noynoy! and his idiot Cabinet are making bara-bara their moral rhetoric, without regard for the consequences later on.

Down with the judicial branch, yes, but this should be simultaneous with the dissolution of the executive and legislative.

Anarchy is the ideal. But unimpeded police states, not so great!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TWO QUESTIONS ABOUT NOYNOY!’S DEFENSE IN DEFYING THE SUPREME COURT


 1. If the Supreme Court has been discredited and the forces of good ride with your executive alone, why do you bother sending the DoJ to the Supreme Court hearings?

2. What’s to stop a future administration from invoking “Alam naman natin kung ano ang tama, at kung ano ang mali” in justifying blatantly unconstitutional acts ― such as torture by genital electrocution ― that it may undertake? Or does this ‘moral mandate’ only last for the duration of your reign?

3. I know I said two questions, but let me just use this moment to tell you WHAT A STUPID FUCKING IDIOT YOU ARE. AREN’T YOU? You think it’s helping things to be making careless rhetoric on how you dont recognize the Supreme Court’s limitations to your conduct? Does slapping your large forehead count as a question?!

4. Sorry for shouting, but let me ask a fourth thing. Why do you not reprimand your idiot justice secretary Leila De Lima for the nonsense her office is spouting [See below]? She claims that the executive is beyond the Constitution even as it is created by the Constitution! Could you not get your damn legal team talking sensibly?

The infringement of an individual’s right to travel is justified under the general principle of the exercise of the (state’s) police power... This is even outside of the constitutional consideration of national security, public safety and public health...” ― DoJ Secretary, former Commission on Human Rights chairman, and idiot militant extraordinaire Leila De Lima

Friday, December 2, 2011

BILL GATES SUPPORTS RH BILL (KIND OF); HE MUST BE RIGHT!


How about drown these fuckers?
That will surely stimulate the economy!

Melinda Gates, Bill’s significant other, was quoted by Rina Jimenez-David as saying:
Family planning access is a cost-effective way to foster development...

Ergo, we should have the RH Bill passed.


I GOT AN IDEA

If these activists are so keen on having ‘reproductive health’ made accessible to the public, why don’t they work on repealing prohibitions on the trade of contraceptives, and the ban on awareness campaigns? That way, we take into consideration those who express reservations about the cost of a government program.

Source: funwithgovernment.blogspot.com
(Data from PIDS)
Wait... I’ve just been informed that THERE ARE NO LAWS PROHIBITING CONTRACEPTION OR THE DISCUSSION THEREOF. Why are these purple-ribbon wearers waiting for these bastards in Congress anyway?


THE RH BILL WON’T INCREASE PROSPERITY, DUMBASS!

My blogger friend Nonoy Oplas said it best: Economic growth is about production, not reproduction. He cited these helpful tables, showing that in ASEAN, the Philippines is second only to Laos in terms of working-age population. 

This means that there should be less dependents in the country, if only the capital existed and moved freely by which people could be employed!


FINAL WORD

Or let’s just pass the RH Bill na nga. Sayang naman all the purple ribbons, and all the mistaken opinions expressed. It would be embarrassing to recant now.