Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting for more

I have been searching for refutations of GMA's SONA and while there are lots of negative reactions, not much refutations in the proper sense. I watched Winnie Monsod on the news last night and she did have one: that the 2M + jobs were not exactly true and in fact 450,000 jobs were lost. This is as well as I can remember. I could not find a clip of that report though. I found something here:
Monsod argued that basing on actual figures from the National Statistics Office, only 2.8 M jobs were created from 2004-2008, a far cry from the promised 1M jobs per year. She added that poverty rose by almost 50%.
The same site also quotes Mayor Binay about the number of poor people, of an increase of 2.7M from 2000-2006. I cannot say this actually refutes what GMA said in the SONA, as figures cited by Binay is not of the same time period as what GMA used:
Bumaba ang bilang ng nagsasabing mahihirap sila, mula 59% sa 47%. Kahit na lumaki ang ating populasyon, nabawasan ng dalawang milyon ang bilang ng mahihirap.
So far, not much refutations really. Reactions abound but many are simply perceptions. Even the CBCP weighed in on the SONA but I feel the reactions were not enough to be considered refutations. Besides the reactions were mostly on GMA's lack of "clear" and "categorical" statement on her "future political plans". I guess for others her political plans will have an effect on the SON. But not much on the more important statements on the economy and education.

Still waiting for more.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not about looking back and getting even

The past twelve months have been a year for the history books. Financial meltdown in the West spread throughout the world.

Tens of millions lost their jobs; billions across the globe have been hurt – the poor always harder than the rich. No one was spared.
It has affected us already.

But the story of the Philippines in 2008 is that the country weathered a succession of global crises in fuel, in food, then in finance and finally, economy in a global recession, never losing focus and with economic fundamentals intact.

A few days ago, Moody’s upgraded our credit rating, citing the resilience of our economy. The state of our nation is a strong economy. Good news for our people, bad news for our critics.

I did not become President to be popular. To work, to lead, to protect and preserve our country, our people, that is why I became President.

So goes the intro to Pres. Gloria Arroyo's State of the Nation address this year, her last SONA.

I welcome what she said about education: Our educational system should make the Filipino fit not just for whatever jobs happen to be on offer today, but also for whatever economic challenge life will throw in their way.

She sums what has been done:

In sum:
1. We have a strong economy and a strong fiscal position to withstand global shocks.
2. We built new modern infrastructure and completed unfinished ones.
3. The economy is more fair to the poor than ever before.
4. We are building a sound base for the next generation.
5. International authorities have taken notice that we are safer from environmental degradation and man-made disasters.

And being a Mindanaoan like her, I agree to some extent with this:

There is nothing more that I would wish for than peace in Mindanao. It will be a blessing for all its people, Muslim, Christian and lumads. It will show other religiously divided communities that there can be common ground on which to live together in peace, harmony and cooperation that respects each other’s religious beliefs.

Some of the one-liners:

To those who want to be President, this advice: If you really want something done, just do it. Do it hard, do it well. Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t pander. And don’t say bad words in public.

Those in the past administrations conjured the demon of foreign debt. We exorcised it.

The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-Cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that they feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.

My term does not end until next year. Until then, I will fight for the ordinary Filipino.

However much a President wishes it, a national problem cannot be knocked out with a single punch. She must work with the problem as much as against it, turn it into a solution if she can.

And I have never done any of the things that have scared my worst critics so much. They are frightened by their own shadows.

My critics call it dictatorship. I call it determination. We know it as strong government.

But I never declared martial law, though they are running scared as if I did. In truth, what they are really afraid of is their weakness in the face of this self-imagined threat.

I never expressed the desire to extend myself beyond my term. Many of those who accuse me of it tried to cling like nails to their posts. I am accused of misgovernance. Many of those who accuse me of it left me the problem of their misgovernance to solve. And we did it. I am falsely accused, without proof, of using my position for personal profit. Many who accuse me have lifestyles and spending habits that make them walking proofs of that crime.

We can read their frustrations. They had the chance to serve this good country and they blew it by serving themselves. Those who live in glass houses should cast no stones. Those who should be in jail should not threaten it, especially if they have been there.

Those who are not happy with the SONA, now is the time to check on whatever she said. Just remember that "Contempt is the emotion we feel for an opponent whose arguments are too formidable to refute."

Who said it, I do not remember. Oh, Ambrose Pierce, according to Ann.

Friday, July 24, 2009


... we thought the science is settled? Then why does a new peer-reviewed climate study (peer-reviewed being the operative word, and not just simply based on computer models, mind you) say that nature is responsible for the recent global warming, and not man?

Three Australasian researchers have shown that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate, in a study just published in the highly-regarded Journal of Geophysical Research. According to this study little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

The research, by Chris de Freitas, a climate scientist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, John McLean (Melbourne) and Bob Carter (James Cook University), finds that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a key indicator of global atmospheric temperatures seven months later. As an additional influence, intermittent volcanic activity injects cooling aerosols into the atmosphere and produces significant cooling.

"The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely" says corresponding author de Freitas.

"We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

Amazing Filipina

Amazing Filipina:

H/T: Jill at

I don't either

I don't understand how open flouting of Catholic teaching is tolerated at an institution centered on Catholic teaching. More than that, this group is working to undermine Catholic teaching. It seems to me the Church has lost total control of the American Catholic educational system.

Believe me Jill, I don't either. 

But as I have commented many times in the past, in this blog and even among my friends in conversation, many of these "Catholic" institutions that find themselves in these "class" are run or started by the Jesuits.  I finished my undergraduate studies on scholarship in a Jesuit institution, and even then, I had my misgivings.  Pains me more to read about these things happening now, and perhaps, going for worse.

But there are many Catholic institutions in the US and all over the world that have remained faithful to the Magisterium, without watering down the intellectual and academic freedom that universities and institutions of higher learning should have.  Students there are even happier.

I ask again, "What's the matter, SJ?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who's lying now

Some days ago, the Vatican said that Obama pledged to reduce abortions in the US, but no sooner did this hit the wires that the White House made it clear that the way this will be done is to "to change economic and social conditions so as to put more women in situations where they do not feel they have to have an abortion."  Only says therefore that if the need isn't taken away (for whatever flimsy reason that may be), abortion on demand will always be the way to go.

It does not help much that the proposed healthcare program contains more federal funding for abortions, so in a sense, Obama is in a weird situation -- if he told the Pope that he was committed to reduce the number of abortions while "his" healthcare program will in fact increase abortions in the US, he was either lying or that he did not read the proposed bill.  Either way is possible for the One really, as he and his allies have been doing it many times, right?

As I was telling a friend then, even if he were sincere with reduction in abortions, his position is untenable, because of the people he puts in positions that will influence the abortion issue on the liberal side.  His Sec. of State, his HHS Sec., his recent SCOTUS appointment.  In the news lately is his science czar, John Holdren, who has authored a 1977 book that "advocates for extreme totalitarian measures to control the population"  through "laws requiring compulsory abortion", "illegitimate babies be put up for adoption", "require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions", "adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods", "sterilizing women after their second or third child", "long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin", among others.

This is the US, but as I always say, things like this have a way of getting into our politicians's and policy makers's heads.

H/T:  Michelle

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's for dinner?

Have you eaten yet? Want to try this?
As she steamed the placenta with some herbs, the kitchen got that ironlike smell of cooked organ meat, with vague undertones of a consciousness-raising group and a Betty Friedan rally. Sara said Cassandra had a particularly robust placenta, and she hoped to get 120 pills out of it. As she sliced the cooked organ and put it on parchment paper in a dehydrator, she told me that some people drink the placenta raw as a smoothie. "I do this for a living, and I couldn't do that," she said. The pills, she explained, were superior, since Cassandra could stretch their hormone-rich benefits much further, perhaps even freezing some for menopause. Sara did not understand that when Cassandra's looks fade in her 50s, there's no way I'm putting up with this crap.

H/T: Jill

Friday, July 10, 2009

All boils down to this

USSC Justice Ginsburg's interview in New York Times (The Place of Women on the court) has gotten a lot of hits (flak or praise, either way). Most of her thoughts about Roe v. Wade are not unexpected -- government "has no business making that choice for a woman", and that legalizing abortion was a way of legalizing eugenics.

Of course, pro-choice and pro-aborts (no difference there really, is there?) will protest the eugenics angle, especially since the eugenics that they know is mostly limited to the Nazi-led holocaust of Jews and Israel's war against their Islamic "neighbors". Yep, not abortion, nor euthanasia, nor honor killings, nor healthcare, nor climate change rhetoric (ok, the last one's a stretch, but see).

See also Jill.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I like

School officials deemed this (printed on a shirt of a seventh-grader) in 2008 as "'inappropriate subject matter' in violation of the school's dress code, which bans clothing with 'suggestion of tobacco, drug or alcohol use, sexual promiscuity, profanity, vulgarity, or other inappropriate subject matter.'" The case against the officials will proceed.

Monday, July 06, 2009

More power

Conal Holdings Corp. will proceed with its USD 450-million 200 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani. That's close to home. Despite the opposition to it, this power plant will benefit a lot of people in the south. I am sure that Conal will do their utmost to do their job well, providing power responsibly.

Update: My folks say that power outages are getting more frequent in the area. Take it at face value.