Of Presidents and Dictators

First, there was the death of former US President Gerald Ford. He was 93 when he passed away and he sworn into office following the resignation of former President Nixon, who was implicated in the Watergate Scandal. (Yeah, that’s where people got the Gloriagate term. So not original.) One of his most distinguishing act was his decision to pardon Nixon just a month after he assumed office in 1974. He visited the Philippines during the time of Marcos and further back, he was part of the US Navy fleet that landed in the Visayas during WWII.

But that was quickly overshadowed by the execution of Saddam Hussein. He was hanged (how dramatic!) and people chanted and danced around the lifeless body of the former dictator (how weird!). I guess the people really hated him that much. I remember seeing this video clip wherein his statue was forcibly brought down by the Iraqi people following the US-lead War on Iraq and there were a couple of people who slapped the concrete face with their shoes and slippers.

I always thought that Saddam, being convicted of “crimes against humanity” would be put on trial at the Hague where former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, also charged with crimes against humanity, died early this year. Perhaps, the US wanted to give the impression that the trial and the execution was independently done by Iraq.

The execution took place outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, Rubaie said, and no Americans were present.

“It was an Iraqi operation from A to Z,” he said. “The Americans were not present during the hour of the execution. They weren’t even in the building.”

He added that “there were no Shiite or Sunni clerics present, only the witnesses and those who carried out the actual execution were present.” [CNN]

The fingerprints and footprints of the US are all over this, of course. They invaded liberated the Iraqi people from that evil of a dictator as part of the grand scheme dubbed as War on Terror following the events of 9-11 . Hooray for the Americans! The liberators of the oppressed!

I’d like to ask, though: Where are the weapons of mass destruction that was used by the Bush administration to justify the Iraq war?

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Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon

Nobody really uses the Filipino greeting anymore.

Anyway, although I barely felt the spirit of Christmas this year, I would like to greet everyone (meaning, the two or three people who frequent this little blog every now and then) a very warm and joyous Christmas and may you welcome the new year full of hope and courage. Ingat sa paputok, sa kahit anong pumuputok. Hehe 😀

Philippine Idol

Mau wins the fist Philippine Idol! Despite ‘minor’ comment controversies towards the end, she still won the contest. This means that she gets to represent our country on World Idol. Kewl! Congrats Mau!

And given the small margin of victory by Mau, I’d say congratulations as well to Jan Kurt Nieto and Gian Carlo Magdangal.

That is what interests me the most. It seems that the texters and callers are divided among the three finalists. Buti na lang walang nagko-complain na dinaya sila. Hehe 🙂

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The Constituent Assembly strategy (if you can call it that) has been scrapped finally. If I understand it properly, it’s the plan of the lower house to convene both the House of Representatives and the Senate into one super-legislative body and vote on the issue of charter change.

Isn’t that stupid? I mean seriously, don’t they understand why the present system have two chambers to begin with? Although you can’t always completely rely on the Senate, one of their main duties is to check and guard what the lower legislative body is doing. Kaya nga sila mga senador eh. The House of Representatives cannot just “will” upon itself such a ruling and simply drag Senate body into their plans. A senator (I forget who) pointed out that the sheer number of the other body would render them insignificant. And it wasn’t selfish argument, but it was a valid point I think. It was to remind others the idea of check-and-balance within the legislative branch, especially if it involves changing/rewording/revising the fundamental code of the land.

But then I realized that perhaps the Con-Ass was meant to fail.

Why? In order to make the idea of Con-Con (or Constitutional Convention) more appealing I think. In psychology, the strategy can be referred to as reverse psychology. All this was meant to make Con-Ass look really stupid and crazy, and make Con-Con look more rational and appealing to everyone.

Objectively, Con-Con is a better alternative. Yes, the people do get to decide who’s in and who’s out so-to-speak. But do we have trust-worthy candidates? Do we have the people who will put the best interest of our country above anything else? Again, we need to go back to idea why we need to change the constitution and at least learn what changes are being proposed.

Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter who gets to participate in the Constitutional Convention, if the cost of political progress and economic growth mean sacrificing our national identity, security, and independence.

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Christmas Plastics

It’s that time of year when people attend parties left and right. From family gatherings to barkada get-togethers, these are the occasions that bring people closer together, especially those that under normal circumstances do not have the time to meet and catch up on each other’s lives.

Company christmas parties are different however. They are the persons you meet everyday. And occasionally, you get into misunderstandings and arguements with them. I find it hard to accept the idea that you’re simply being civil and professional from January to November wih most of them, then suddenly everyone is closey-close with each other come Decemeber. It’s so pretentious.

Working in a factory where most of the people are at least a couple of years older, I guess older adults have mastered the abilty to feign friendships and closeness when the christmas season comes.

And I really don’t like the idea of forcing people to contribute for a christmas party. (Actually, there’s the grand company christmas party that the company pays for; and there’s the sub-company christmas parties where us workers simply contribute.) I noticed how the ‘contribution fee’ seems to increase every year. I don’t feel like spending extra money on our plant’s christmas party where co-workers are often at each other’s throats – figuratively and literally.

Krispy Kreme

The infamous Krispy Kreme has recently opened its first branch in the Philippines, within the vicinity of Gonuts nonetheless I was told. While the rest of the metro was preparing for Reming, a significant number of people awaited for the opening of the store. As in nakatambay sa pinto. Of course, we can expect people to storm the branch within the next few days as the word spreads like unretouched pictures of Angelica Panganiban on the internet.

But I will not be a part of the hype.

For those of you who want to join in the fun, just note that their donuts, particularly the glazed donut, contain dangerously amounts of trans fat. Well, not dangerous dangerous really. Unchecked amounts of trans fat in your body just cause you to have a heart attack and drop dead. Yun lang naman. Some US cities have taken aggressive efforts to curb down the usage of trans fat in their food – from restaurant -fast food to products they buy in supermarkets.

So as a friendly reminder: don’t be too pasikat and pasosyal or trans fat will block your heart’s canal.

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Talking About God

I’m talking to my brother about God. Of all the people. Maybe this isn’t the proper way to share to others, but I’m not really a God person. Not anymore and not in the mean time. And here he is, thinking about entering the priesthood…

I guess he won’t be contributing any income soon. Sigh.