Saturday, October 27, 2012

THE PERSECUTED RADICAL: ‘SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED’ IS GREAT AND LIBERTARIAN


You guys should watch ‘Safety not guaranteed’ (2012). It’s funny and uplifting from the get-go, and it has great characters and drama.

I’m going to give slight spoilers in the course of providing my libertarian interpretation of the movie. A movie that you should watch by the way.


FREEDOM AND RISK

So first of all, the title itself, ‘Safety not guaranteed,’ is a tribute to freedom. In the pursuit of one’s happiness, there is risk in varying degrees. Once you accept this, and that the alternative of a coercive entity ‘ensuring’ safety not only fails to protect people but is the very instrument of harm against society, you are at the beginning of a scientific, well-founded appreciation of markets and prices, which go hand in hand with free speech and ending the ‘war on drugs,’ advocacies the implications of which are easier to grasp.

Liberty and prosperity are defined just as much by failure as they are by achievement. It is through such a process of elimination that consumers end up connected to that enterprise which best satisfies their wants. The system also tends to direct ‘loser’ businessmen to their most consumer-beneficial role, whether this be of a ‘regular’ employee (whatever that is), or a tycoon in some other sector. As consumers, we all win, that is, to the degree that freedom and property rights awareness are present in a society.


COURAGE (OR AT LEAST, VANITY)

‘Safety not guaranteed’ is also a reminder that fighting for actual rights and freedom is not a harmless endeavor, whether this mean being shut out from family and friends, or being targeted by the political elite threatened by gadflies.

Because of such contrary views, one is looked at as a nutcase, with no chance to really explain one’s side, what with all the ridicule and contempt such opinions provoke among a government-embracing folk. [Level 2 Spoiler Alert] Crazy Calloway has to wait till the very end of the film to be redeemed somewhat. At the end of this crisis, I believe freedom will experience a surge, for lack of the state, now bankrupt. [End Level 2 Spoiler Alert].


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN

Calloway longs for a past to rectify his errors. So does our heroine Darius. In the same way, we lament the constant growth of the state, all the suffering it entails, and the unseen progress that never comes to be in a social system of political (coercive) means. We want to ‘go back’ to certain points in time exemplifying freedom, e.g. the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, EDSA 1986 People Power, etc.

Ultimately, however, standing for freedom means looking to the future. The past, ideal as may be bequeathed by time, can only serve as a guide, but is far from desirable in itself.


WATCH IT!

Watch ‘Safety not guaranteed!’ You’ll like it for the fun flick it is, even without sweating the political stuff. Even I just figured the politicial relation now, a night after watching it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AKBAYAN VERSUS ANAKBAYAN, AND MY NEW PARTY-LIST


So you’ve probably seen the video of Akbayan and Anakbayan personnel exchanging words and a few shoves over the former’s supposed fakeness. It was revealed what vanity was contained in this party-list circus, in spite of its lack of real political pull.

We need more sincere party-lists that retain their vision of equality and genocide in spite of all the temptations of political power.

This is why I am filing for inclusion of my party-list, Andumi, which represents people marginalized by their not taking baths.

In Congress, Andumi hopes to formally criminalize the firing of workers for being dirty/unsanitary/smelly.

“No one ever considers that maybe I just don’t feel like washing myself! Or that the grime and sweat smell good after a while!”

Andumi will block any legislation involving raising capital for the resource that is water. Our reason is because investment in the water sector inhibits the growth of other industries otherwise patronized sans water. Huge regulatory fees will be imposed on hair care, soap, etc. products.

We will also offer a government-funded ‘Best Bum’ contest every month where people compete in terms of bumness. It will be a very competitive competition. It’s not enough to walk in polluted areas and accumulate dirt, or to take shits in a 7-Eleven Slurpee cup. No that’s strictly beginners’ stuff man! Use your imagination in trying to smell and look like a two-day-dead rat in the back of your refrigerator.

Please support Andumi, a truly marginalized bunch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

FILIPINA SUING FRANK MILLER; WHEN PRESSING CHARGES IS WORSE THAN THE ALLEGED OFFENSE

Frank: Fucking Filipinos!

I feel bad for Filipina Dindi Gallardo’s experience working for comic legend Frank Miller, but it’s ridiculous to press charges on account of racial discrimination she experienced.

If she found it so distasteful to work for Miller and to suffer the verbal and mental abuse by Miller’s girlfriend Kimberly Cox, she could have solved everything by quitting, refusing to work for someone who tolerates such attitudes. Their working relationship was not coercive. The fact that she did not switch jobs indicates that that was the best job she could get, insults notwithstanding.

What’s more, Gallardo would have been free to publicize her experience and allow Miller and Cox to suffer whatever public backlash is associated with bigotry. 

Actually, I would say the abuse had more to do with social-status power dynamics than any actual racial conflict. Who hasn’t heard of maids being poked fun at by fellow Filipinos for their jejemon jologs ways? 

And in case it matters, mas maganda naman si Gallardo kaysa sa Cox na ’yan, at least based on the pictures in the Rappler article.

Instead, Gallardo sought the violent state as recourse, and that’s where my sympathy ends. It’s hypocritical to seek redress for wrongs committed against one’s person by simply finding a bigger ally (the state) that can physically threaten the offending party. Where is the principle in that?

I pray for a speedy dropping of the case, and greater awareness of the illogic of racism instead.

WILL THE 2012 GRP-MILF AGREEMENT BRING PEACE?

How reassuring.

What garbage, the speech of the president on the newly signed agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF.

Is there any indication that any peace will come from ceding a ‘Bangsamoro’ area to these rebels? And how is it that criminal operations by the MILF become a good thing just because our President says “They’re alright!”…?

The fact that Noynoy! says that “much work remains to be done” seems to be a way to wash his hands of the oppression and poverty that will continue.

I also wonder: Will this agreement avoid the pitfalls of the 2008 GRP-MILF one for which Noynoy!’s predecessor Arroyo received flak? Is it enough that the new agreement states that non-Muslims won’t be subject to the Shari’ah justice system?

Mental note: If I kill and steal enough, I can come to a “wealth and power sharing” agreement with the government in due time. In the meantime, I will be thinking of names for my territory.

Monday, October 8, 2012

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE STATE; DECRIMINALIZE LIBEL


Don’t just call for a repeal of RA 10175. Libel, as a crime, should be repealed as well.

If libel were decriminalized tomorrow, would everyone start publishing baseless lies and insults against each other just because they’re “allowed”? Or, would people consider the loss of credibility and esteem that comes with making baseless or tactless assertions? Perhaps most will not be inclined to publicize their true sentiments in the first place.

If people/consumers desire and patronize publications that aim for truth and respect, then libelous publications would be ignored their way out of business soon enough, or left to a limited, miserable readership.

And if we live in a world where people do patronize lies and mudslinging, that places the problem of libel on the readership, and not the rags that merely exploit such base appeal.

Such a situation would not be remedied by threatening people with jail for saying what they want. People should be free to believe as they do, and associate with other groups according to the sympathy or relations they develop — the activities of which may well include derogatory remarks against other parties. If people are inhibited from associating in this manner, this does not raise the quality of discourse; it merely stifles it, usually in favor of a political elite that thus escapes criticism.

In all this, no actual act of violence, of transgressing another’s person, is ever made with libel anyway, be it online (as covered by RA 10175), or in ‘real life.’

On the other hand, threatening someone with imprisonment for saying what they want within the confines of their property — or as agreed upon between property owners (as is the case with mass media) — does constitute a transgression. 

Criminalizing libel is the real crime.

HOW TO ESCAPE LIABILITY UNDER RA 10175, THE CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT

Many Filipinos are wondering how to keep their online reputations safe, to avoid liability under RA 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act (if that link does not work, it means, Good job hackers!). 

Luckily, I found a loophole (clue: It also solves the problem of hiding evidence of porn-surfing). 


Follow these steps and you will be able to retain your ‘free’ status as determined by your government.

1. Open your Google Chrome browser. If you don’t have Google Chrome, you can download an installer here.

2. Press Ctrl along with Shift and the N button.

3. This is Google’s incognito window. According to Google itself, 
“Pages you view in this window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close all open incognito windows.” 
This means, if I’m not misinterpreting, that everything you do online through Google incognito will keep you clear of any charges, including Facebook status updates saying “Putaninga mo talaga President N_ynoy _quino!”

4. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AND MILF REACHING PEACE AGREEMENT, BUT…


The Aquino government has announced that it is days away from signing a peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Peace is always good. But let’s consider some things about this particular ‘peace’:

1. The Philippine archipelago remains united under one state. ‘Unity’ in this case is overrated. The manner by which political victors divide spoils has no bearing on the quality of life of people. There could be one, or five, or ten independent states within the Philippines, and this in itself won’t make for more peace, or more war. With the way the alleged agreement with the MILF stands, the Philippine government as we know it remains intact, and it’s business as usual when it comes to ruling over its subjects.

2. You have to wonder: If the MILF indeed are inclined to sign a peace treaty, what’s in it for them? What concessions do we not know about? Will they have a more influence when it comes to policy, or at least the implementation of policy?

3. Noynoy! is delusional if he actually believes his scriptwriter’s claim that rebels, who used to hold guns, will now till the land like happy Marxist workers instead. Chances are, with a peace treaty signed, whatever authority by arms these rebels used to assert, will acquire ‘legitimacy,’ with an anointing by the Philippine government.

4. The reality is that such rebel uprisings have more to do with abuses taken by Philippine government authorities against these communities. There is no giving up of power involved in this peace agreement, hence we could expect continued oppression of communities, the only escape being to join the oppressors themselves, be they government or rebel forces.

5. All in all, I’m doubtful as to the ‘peace’ actually attained. The war in Mindanao involves much personal vendetta, and this can’t be swept away by an accord from up above. The only real way for ‘healing’ to begin is for political power to diminish, and this can’t happen unless the illegitimacy of the state is recognized to a significant degree.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ON THE POPULAR CLAMOR AGAINST THE ANTI-CYBERCRIME LAW


The online protests against RA 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law (which, Billy, is a very good law!), are not very principled.

I don’t think there is much popular opposition to the very idea of criminalizing libel, cyber or otherwise, or the very idea of criminalizing media piracy, cyber or otherwise.

Most would actually concede that saying nasty things about someone, downloading a copyrighted video, sending unsolicited mail, etc. are illegal and ought to be illegal. The problem, in their minds, is the ‘sobra’-ness of going after internet surfers/bloggers/downloaders, instead of removing plagiarists in the Senate or jailing churchmen opposing bills that would implement a national family planning program.

Would a good portion of the opponents of the law (a very good law!) come to the conclusion that, not only should this law be repealed, but that the state in itself is counterproductive to a community? I doubt it. But I guess I should appreciate these black profile pics, black bars, etc. without demanding that others come to the same conclusions about the state’s relevance to civilization (none) as I have.

NOTE: This is my first entry in two weeks, the longest time I haven’t updated in almost two and a half years. I used the Cybercrime hullabaloo as pretext, but the truth is I’ve been quite preoccupied with other things in life. I sure don’t feel any danger coming towards me. Maybe such a feeling will come when the fuzz begin requesting records from ISPs.