Posted on November 18, 2012 by bw
I am back after a long recess. My brain is a little rusty. The reason for twiddling my thumbs and procrastinating for my comeback post was insanely simple – I couldn’t drum up a good title. I am serious. One thing I’ve learned is that a long lay off makes you lazier to write. Maybe the excellent summer weather or the relocation of my office to another city had to do something with it. I had such a terrific summer that I couldn’t muster enough gusto to write. I am disappointed that I could only whip up a measly 10 posts or less this year. Driving 1.5 hours one way ( more depending on traffic) may have contributed to my remissness. My early morning ritual at the driveway is like going to an excursion or fishing trip. My laptop bag, gym bag for the workout , lunch bag plus the usual 3 fruit a day combo, my holy trinity of fruits – banana, apple and orange – my tall coffee mug filled with extra large brewed java, a breakfast to go cereal bar takes me a couple of trips back to the house before finally slamming down the trunk of the car. At the height of summer I would have to throw my golf clubs in the trunk every now and then. After work a short trip to the driving range or a quick 9 hole at late twilight ( 5pm) at the nearby golf course extends my work day until sunset, except that in summer the sun sets at 930pm here. I had to watch TV too. Blogging had to take a back seat.
It’s autumn , getting a little colder therefore things move a little slower. No more golf, no more fishing, no more picnics, no more backyard bbqs. People seem to have a bit more time to recoup and focus on things they have missed during the busy summer season. You see I have a whole slew of topics I’d like to blog about but they’ve been sitting idle in my smartphone’s memo pad for months. I have no excuse for not having any ideas to blog about. It’s just plain laziness.
When I did my last post in April, Barack Obama was president. I was kinda speculating that in my comeback post he might not be the president and a republican would take over. I’m glad Obama won. I’m not American so I can’t vote but Barack Obama bailed out Wall Street and that’s the reason why I still have a job. I work for a Wall St. bank outside the US of A. Like the US auto workers who were bailed out by Obama, I would have no second thoughts of voting for the man. If he saved my job – he gets my vote. Prove me figging wrong – or can you ? No brainer eh ? Politicians fulfill the saying – you cannot establish a reputation by telling people what you are going to do. Yep, all the crap talk and the lies included. I shake my head knowing that Mitt Romney unequivocally opposed the bailout of the auto industry, yet in his campaign he trotted around GM, Chrysler and Ford counties asking for their votes and promising the world – a glaring testament to the two-facedness of politicians at its best on display here.
Filed under: Human Interest, Politics | 16 Comments »
Posted on September 21, 2009 by bw
I’ve been monitoring this 2010 Presidentiables website and noticed the frequent changes of the personalities that seek to vie for the most powerful job in the nation. At this early juncture, the list is dynamic as political parties jockey and strategize, changing candidates depending on polls and survey results. Some candidates are incumbent politicians who have been endorsed by their respective political parties. Others are religious leaders who feel that their self-avowed righteousness is the antidote to the plague of corruption that could avert the social and economic atrophy that threatens the disintegration of the nation. Party-less as these two religious leaders are, I am amazed at their audacity. I have thought all along that in a democracy, the executive power of the president complements the legislative and judicial powers in the governance of the nation. Minus the political machinery that backs the president in the upper and lower legislative houses, how could independents Villanueva and Velarde possibly survive the presidency should one of them win? Is the Pinoy president an autocratic ruler, some kind of emperor whose subjects are beholden to his eminence and expected to acquiesce to his every behest?
And of course, the ultimate embarrassment to the Filipino race is the name of convicted plunderer ex-President Joseph Estrada who has the gall to run for the presidency. In a complete turnaround after his pledge not to run for public office as condition for President Arroyo’s imprudent pardon from his sentence of reclusion perpetua, Estrada is back on the campaign trail, trying to reclaim the throne that once was his. His name is back in the headlines reeking with more controversies as his political enemies dig more skeletons in his closet to smear his credibility. Lawsuits are being filed left and right – again. Haven’t we gotten enough of this vampire already? Why are we wasting time with a convicted felon who equates the presidential pardon (granted due to his frail health) as exoneration from his crime ? Worse, there are those among us who believe that Erap is the comeback kid, reminiscent of his movie exploits, and is on his high horse seeking to exact revenge on those who mauled and left him for dead 😦
The recipe for a consummate disaster for the nation would be an Erap win. It might be unlikely, but not mathematically impossible. Should it happen, it will be the triumph of poverty – both intellectual and spiritual. As Pinoy writer F. Sionil Jose aptly said ”
“We are poor because we have lost our ethical moorings. We condone cronyism and corruption and we don’t ostracize and punish crooks in our midst. We allow their practice because our loyalty is to family or friend and not to the larger good”
Filed under: Politics | 43 Comments »
Posted on December 29, 2008 by bw
Once the all the Christmas parties are over and done with, a respite from the rather strenuous holiday comes in form of a brief lull until the New Year’s celebration. The house is in a bit of disarray – garbage bags of boxes and gift wrap paper need to be recycled, fridge smacking full of left over food, car oil change schedule missed, and darn we worry about our diet which had been deferred until the season is over. It’s time to get back to routine things that were postponed all because of Christmas. There’s a sense of relief that big day is over but then there’s the anxiety on the ton-load of things to do 😯
When you think that the day after Christmas you can loaf around, it is not the case in this country. Dec 26th is Boxing Day, a statutory holiday and this is not to say that we spend the whole day watching boxing matches on TV – I wish we did 🙂 Boxing day is the day when prices of goods fall off from the cliff, a much anticipated day for people to shop and haggle with stores especially for big ticket items. It is a rather hectic day for some when they have to queue up early morning hours for the appliance stores to open before the stock runs out. If your wallet got burned with Christmas, it’ll be charred by Boxing Day if you’re not careful. Having said so, I did buy my large screen HDTV on a Boxing Day and boy it was a real sweet deal. This time, I’ve opted not to visit a store on Boxing Day. The bad news is Boxing Day prices last until New Year’s day. 😦
One FM radio station here plays the yuletide carols ad free all day on Christmas Day since carols are are slowly taken off the air after Dec 25th. Maybe it’s just me but have you noticed the sudden surge of big name artists cutting Christmas albums lately? I don’t mind listening to Hall and Oates singing Jingle Bell Rock but James Taylor singing Santa Claus Is Coming to Town is kind of odd. He sounds like a drunken octogenarian peeing in the bushes, murmuring to the goblins to duck his pee. Michael Bolton singing White Christmas grunting and frowning like tacks are piercing his butt can cause depression to the weak hearted. Absolutely no comparison to the original Bing Crosby version. I was a bit shocked to hear Willie Nelson sing O Little Town of Bethlehem. It’s a rather solemn song fitting a church choir setting and Willie’s country style, mousy sounding pitch didn’t quite do justice to the song. Like it or not – time to say bye bye to the carols. Not in Pinas though. Last time I came home for vacation – the last week of Jan, the Little Drummer Boy was still playing his drums at the NAIA airport speakers 🙂
Filed under: Christmas, Politics | 31 Comments »
Posted on October 28, 2008 by bw
About a year ago, as I was flipping through my cable channels, I stumbled upon author Jeremy Rifkin lecturing to his studio audience the context of his interesting but rather disputatious book – The European Dream. Disputatious in a sense because he predicts that the recently formed European Union will replace America as the superpower of the future. To make the story short, according to Rifkin, “the European Dream, which champions communalism, sustainability, and human rights over property rights and radical individualism, is better-suited to 21st century challenges than the “American dream” of personal fortune, which may be obsolete”. Rifkin went on to say that Canada is caught between the American and the European dream but rightfully managed to preserve its identity and carve its own vision of the future.
The recent financial meltdown saw the US government manufacture money so it can bail out its ailing financial institutions. It likewise sought the help of its G7 allies to save the world from a paralyzing economic catastrophe. In the midst of the bedlam, French president Nicholas Sakorzky threw a curve ball by exhorting the leaders of advanced nations to “rethink capitalism”. Perhaps the capitalism that America championed and revolutionized had grown into a runaway train that is bound to collapse into a barrier and disintegrate and derailment is the only cure. The CNN investigative report “ The Fall of the Fat Cats” seem to accentuate Sakorsky’s foreboding. The report said that prior to the financial crisis, Wall Street players were spending about $250 billion a year on personal acquisitions, a staggering amount that eclipsed the annual spending of the entire population of Italy.
The Greenspan economic poker strategy of betting heavily on debt as a prime mover and shaker of prosperity had finally unraveled and paid back all its gains. As early as 2005 , economist Ravi Batra wrote the book “ Greenspan’s Fraud” to warn the world of the impending disaster of an economic policy that put too much premium on productivity yet freezing wages but encouraging people to get in debt to satisfy their acquisitiveness. Here’s a 10 minute interview of Batra on the Canadian Business News Network (BNN) on the subject.
Noam Chomksy underscores a strong point that resonates very well with the European dream and that is capitalism that works to seek for the interest of the greater whole, the community rather than personal gain. With this statement I am reminded of those capitalist nations that took a bit more taxes from the pockets of its citizens to institute a universal health care system for everyone. I also think that it is incumbent upon countries to prune capitalism to its needs, rather than emulating the system to the letter. Emulating the American style capitalism in Pinas may not work at all because the playing field is completely different and there are dynamics such as culture that can be incompatible hence ruinuous . Persisting in such an incompatibility is akin to stuffing the latest Microsoft Office Suite on a Windows 98 PC. It is recipe for disaster.
Filed under: Economy, Photography, Politics | 30 Comments »
Posted on September 30, 2008 by bw
It is often easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up with them…. Adlai Stevenson
I’ve been watching elections for quite a stretch in my adult life – Philippine, U.S. and Canadian elections to be exact. Canadian parliamentary elections are slated for October 14 and the U.S. elections November 4. Every election scenario is eeriely familiar – politicians showcasing their grand plans to promote prosperity and the usual promise “to do better” to restore the people’s trust in the government. In truth, everything that comes out of the politician’s mouth during election campaigns are nothing more than horse shit yet poor me, and thousands of gullible citizens like me listen to the dung and crap these people spew into the airwaves. We watch debates and judge candidates of their wit and resolve yet we all know that it’s a sham, a theatrical spectacle designed to delude people and make them believe that there are noble men who are willing to sacrifice their lucrative business careers and opt to receive a quarter of their 7 figure incomes so they can be given the privilege to lead and serve their country.
The Philippines is no exception. Our daily preoccupation is non-stop bickering and throwing of scathing accusations of misgovernance and all forms of tirades to discredit the government in power, every incumbent government for that matter. People are made to believe that principles are being fought for, when in fact it had been proven over and over that changing governments made no difference, for those that fought hard for their principles failed to live with them when given the opportunity.
The recent failure of the U.S. Congress bailout plan is an affirmation that despite the horrific scare of a depression, lawmakers care more about partisan sniping than saving the country from disaster. As one newspaper put it, dissenting Republican congressmen allowed the “entire country to be hurt because they were hurt” by a supposedly injudicious statement of Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who labeled the bailout a stop gap solution to the Bush administration’s failed policies.
Politicans fight for their principles come hell or high water yet when given the opportunity to govern, fail to live up with them. It is a viscious cycle that happens every 4 years or so. We know it’s a farce but we don’t do much about it. Western countries that call themselves democratic and capitalist are pretty much fucked up like their Asian counterparts, the difference being their people seem content to bask in the halo of their inane prosperity rather than bombing and killing to vent their indignation and frustration .
Have you been on a blind date ? Well, here’s something that might interest you. How about going on a blind date and eating your food literally blind ? 🙂 A lady friend of mine who told me about her experience “dining in the dark” in her recent trip to Zurich, Switzerland. She had dinner with a friend, a former “young” actress in the Pinoy cinema. Hey, I am not trying to embellish the story but truth needs to be told 😯 Food is served by servers wearing night vision goggles and consumed by patrons in total darkness. What does one gain by eating pricey food in total darkness? My friend told me it enables one to savor the taste of food much better 🙂 Huh? Methinks it’s just one of those gimmicks, with the likes of the hanging restaurant, to attract people for the experience. I would never dare eat in this joint if I was starving but heck, it would be a real dandy place to go on a blind date when the spookiness might cause you to lose a bit of your inhibitions 🙂 I wish we have one of these restaurants in town. I would love to try it.
I did eat blindfolded once but it was part of a management course on coaching. I was totally deprived of sight and my partner was verbally instructing me the positions of the utensils and dishes and it was truly chaotic. The weird exercise wasn’t done for mere fun but to illustrate the difficulty of coaching and the need for patience which is a necessary ingridient of the endeavor.
Filed under: Politics, Thoughts | 45 Comments »