February 2007


pinochio_by_avid.jpg “Unbelievable!” Mog exclaimed.

“Yes, can you imagine that? The man-servant giving us this long sob story that he took care of his bastard infant son when it was dumped on him by the mother’s family… That they lived in a chicken coop and he earned his living plying a pedalled passenger tricycle, and that he had to leave him with a neighbour to come to Manila to find a better job.”

“Then he asks you for money not only to fetch the son from the province so they can be re-united, but also for gratitude-money for the neighbours. And he disappears with the money!”

“I am naive, Mog. I did want to help those lesser off than I am. He sounded so believable!”

“He had no infant son at all, Yaw! ”

“Fantastic liar, that’s what he was, Mog.”

“And he’s not the only one. Remember at the supermarket when we were looking for  sugar cubes? A clerk there told us that they don’t make it anymore because it was too difficult to shape them into cubes. And all along, the supermarket had never carried the item! What was the purpose of that elaborate lie?”

“I have no idea, Mog… and remember the time you paid the construction manager working on your house for specific services, and she bills you again for the same, telling you that she had spent the money on something else? Did she think you would fork out the money again? Taking you for a fool, that’s what it was.”

“Well, I gave her the benefit of the doubt since those other expenses seemed justified, but when she came a third time to bill me again for the first exact same service, saying she had spent the money for something else again, well I balked.”

“Why did she have to lie about those expenses, when she could have simply billed you differently? Was it because the other expenses were unjustifiable? And how about the time you wanted to borrow her car? You were accused of damaging the shock absorbers in the three days you used it, when all along, the car was to be lent to someone else. Why couldn’t you be told that out-right, instead of being accused of something you didn’t do?

“It’s mind-boggling, Mog… and I have many more stories of strange and outrageous lies and excuses. But I wonder where the Filipinos get their sense of logic, and where they’ve learnt their philosophy of life.”

“Yes, where does it come from, Yaw? Could it be because this nation’s strict Catholic upbringing allows Filipinos no elbow room to commit human mistakes? And so in the all-encompassing climate of covering up faults, they have to lie even for infractions not of their making?”

“It’s possible, Mog. Some people do consider “white lies” as not lies at all, and so think that they can get away with anything because of the colour of the lie.”

“It’s a twisted way of thinking, Yaw, and I will never be able to fathom it.”

“Neither will I.”

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rpflag.jpg Philip Alston, a United Nations rapporteur, has been sent to the Philippines to investigate over 800 judicial killings blamed on government security forces. Mr Alston accuses the army of being “in denial.”

Ten days, Mr Alston has been in the country to conduct his investigation. But Mr Alston, it may take only take ten days to make conclusions, but it will take some knowledge of the Filipino character to make better ones.

This may be true of other people not only of Filipinos, but even when caught red-handed, the Filipino will deny everything. They will take you for a fool. They will see how far they can go, and will go the entire way. They are fantastic liars.

The Philippine Army are not “in denial.” They are not ostriches, hiding themselves from reality. They are feigning ignorance, and hope that you will believe it and go away peacefully. If that doesn’t hold water, they will blame the crime on another — a faction or a scapegoat, while continuing to hope that you will believe it and go away.

If a problem doesn’t go away, Filipinos have absolutely no compunction in “removing” the problem by any means, and murder is the Filipino’s quick solution. And in conjunction with the religious upbringing of this nation, the paradox is that they will deny committing it.

UN Probes Extra-Judicial Killings: “We want the U.N. official to look at the systematic pattern of killings,” Harry Roque, professor of international and constitutional law at the University of Philippines, told IPS over telephone from Manila.

Human rights groups are hoping, however, that the killing of politicians will not pre-occupy Alston’s agenda, since such political murders, they say, are different from the violent campaign being directed at individuals challenging the agenda of the government or of some multi-national companies.

Victims over the past six years have included trade unionists, farmers’ rights activists, people from indigenous communities, lawyers, journalists, human rights campaigners and men of religion.

Philippine Political Killings and Human Rights: The common features in the methodology of the attacks, leftist profile of the victims, and an apparent culture of impunity shielding the perpetrators, has led Amnesty International to believe that the killings are not an unconnected series of criminal murders, armed robberies or other unlawful killings. Rather they constitute a pattern of politically targeted extrajudicial executions taking place within the broader context of a continuing counter-insurgency campaign. The organisation remains gravely concerned at repeated credible reports that members of the security forces have been directly involved in the attacks, or else have tolerated, acquiesced to, or been complicit in them.

Philippine Army is “in denial”
The Paradox of Denial
update: Philippine Army Linked to Murders
Melo Report Holds Some Military Members Responsible

A Rotten Criminal Justice System: … The police are the first and biggest obstacle to victims and their families obtaining justice in the Philippines. Where family members and witnesses come forward, they often find that police investigations contradict their versions of incidents. Police investigators sometimes make premature pronouncements about the motive for a killing and its cause, flatly rejecting alternative suggestions, particularly where state officers or persons allegedly connected to them are among the possible suspects.

Under section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Philippines “the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.” In practice the public labeling of accused persons or victims as “communist fronts,” “destabilizers,” “enemies of the state,” or “terrorists” negates this presumption and allows officials to do away with due process. The double standards in implementation of laws are most obvious in cases where such labels are applied. The use of labels also exposes victims, their families and colleagues to the possibility of further violence, and denies them any hope of protection. Once a person or organization has been labeled “leftist” or “enemy” then there is no possibility of safety. Whatever they may or may not have done, they are in a special category of persons and groups guilty by suspicion, for who the ordinary laws and procedures, to the limited extent they operate for everyone else, are suspended.

Anybody extrajudicially killed in the Philippines is likely to be labeled a leftist by virtue of the police having made a blanket assessment that these killings are the result of an “internal purge” within the communist movement….

update: 25 April 2007

Arroyo Government Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity — Hague Tribunal: The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal based in The Hague, The Netherlands handed down a guilty verdict yesterday against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Philippine government for “crimes against humanity” in connection with charges of extrajudicial killings, abductions and disappearances, massacres, and torture perpetrated against civilians.

American evangelical Christians are dangerously becoming the catalyst in bringing about the end of the world. They are setting the stage for war that will, according to their belief, bring about the coming of Jesus Christ. At this end of the world scenario, they will be whisked to heaven and those left behind will experience famines, disasters, violence, brutality and death.

It is this being “whisked into heaven” — the Rapture, that they are looking forward to. And for those who have been left behind, they must withdraw from society and live in seclusion in a certain place in order to survive the Tribulation.

These End Timers are a Doomsday cult, pure and simple. They stifle positive and constructive solutions to the world’s problems. People who follow this cult are a pathetic lot because as they wait for the end of the world, they have no motivation to improve their own lives.

The End Timers are no laughing matter nor can they be ignored. They have such a strong political hold of the strongest military nation in the world, that they in fact, might just succeed in precipitating the end of the world.

Based on Tony Robinson’s documentary video report: The Doomsday Code
Debates and Controversies: The Doomsday Code

bbc-howard.jpg In 1787, convicts in the over-crowded prisons of Britain were deposited in 11 ships in the first wave of transfers to the penal colony of Australia. Together with the convicts were second-class soldiers sent there to mind them. Through the years, native Australians, the Aborigines, were maltreated, and the United Nations has questioned them on racial discrimination.

I don’t think there has been any serious study done on the character of the “migrant” Australian. I have met a few of these white Australians, not enough to make generalisations though. But from the few I’ve met, I have noticed some common traits in their character.

I believe they feel a general discomfort, a malaise of being who they are because of their history. It’s as if they are thinking that non-Australians look at them and ask themselves if their ancestors were those convicts in the penal colonies of old. The white Australians look down on people from third-world countries, envious perhaps that they at least have some history to be proud of.

Then they ally themselves with first-world nations, like the United States, as if they seek to be identified with first-class peoples. They are in a part of the world that, like the Japanese, they do not wish to be connected with.

Now when that first-world nation might have a black President, Australia must poke their nose in what is clearly not their business and have a say, as if to dictate to its people that they would be wrong if he were chosen. It would put their “identifying with a first-world nation” out of joint, wouldn’t it?

Australia PM Blasts US Candidate

updates:

Australia: The New 51st State
18th Century Convicts Go Online

neocon-war-symbol-from-indymedia-org.jpeg In the past, ideology was what politicians offered to the electorate, with promises to create a better world. But when that failed, the people became sceptical of political promises.

Politicians then scrambled for the next strategy to win the votes. Instead of promising them dreams, they promised instead to protect them from nightmares.

Like dreams, nightmares are fantasies. But how are fantasies created?

According to Leo Strauss, people need powerful myths or moral values to control them. Two groups in recent times have become the epitome of this affirmation: the American Neo-Conservatives and the radical Islamists.

When the Neo-Cons began, they had as their lofty objective, to use American power to fight evil. They considered religion a false notion, but they used it as an instrument to control the American people.

This evil was defined by the Neo-Cons as the Russians. So when Russia invaded Afghanistan, the Americans supported and trained the mujahideen. Gorbachev warned the Americans that in doing so, they would create a far worse enemy. But the Americans did not heed the warning.

Americans love to go to war and love to pick fights. When Russia disintegrated into smaller nations and no longer a threat, the Neo-Cons did not need to go far to look for another one, and created the phantom enemy, Al Qaeda. But there is absolutely no evidence of any organised terrorism network.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a radical Islamist who was a poor mujahid in Afghanistan, befriended a mild-mannered but rich mujahid, Osama Bin Laden. Through Bin-Laden’s financial backing, Al-Zawahiri was able to put his radical Islamic ideas into action. He and his small group of mountain-roaming radicals identified their enemy as fellow Muslims, especially those in government. They reasoned that if you are in government, you are not a good Muslim. They believed that only the Koran should be used as the political framework. They also reasoned that those who vote for people in government are also bad Muslims. They killed with impunity men, women and children; and they allegedly carried out the spectacular killing of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat. But their ideas failed to win fellow Muslims to their side.

Meanwhile, the Neo-Cons in identifying their new enemy as radical Islamists, the Americans became the victims of their own lies. (As an aside, the American government blames the 9-11 attack on Islamic extremists and/or Saddam Hussein — both lacking proof as yet. There is another theory that there was government complicity in the 9-11 attack).

Why was this fantasy created? and to whose benefit? The politicians who create the most worst-case scenario, the loudest fear and terror-mongers, are usually the ones who become the most powerful. Like a fishmonger in the market, the one with the loudest cries attracts the most clients. It is therefore, to their political benefit that this fantasy continues.

But they are not alone in their work. The mainstream media is their bullhorn. You will find that the one who sells the most newspapers, will be the loudest terror-monger of all.

Meanwhile, the American people go out to buy duct tape… blind they are to the propaganda their government spews out.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. — Joseph Goebbels

This post is based on the wmv files: The Power of Nightmares

How the Press Can Prevent Another Iraq
Words and Reality

La Grande Histoire de la Manipulation

otpor-students.jpg The American people could have learnt a thing or two from the non-violent movement initiated by a group of students in Yugoslavia that brought about the downfall of the “Butcher of the Balkans,” Slobodan Milosevic.

They started out with graffiti, painting slogans on the streets and on walls all over the country with the statements, “Resistance Until Victory!” or “He’s Finished!” or “Kill Yourself Slobo and Save Serbia!” When security forces tried to dispel the movement, the students did not fight them and instead, reasoned with them to save the country. In the end, the police disobeyed Milosevic’s orders to shoot when a massive demonstration was held in Belgrade. Serbian citizens joined the movement by the thousands, ousting the tyrant who committed war crimes and taking the future of their country in their hands.

But the American playing field is slightly different. The people are also up against the Neocon group and corporate power-wielders who steer domestic policies such as in environment and health, and a Jewish Lobby that dictates their foreign policy. The President is merely a puppet.

Some supporters of “the butcher of the Islamic world” say that he is doing what he thinks is right. I’m sure some Germans said the same of Hitler. It’s too late for this nation of couch potatoes to drag itself out of their lethargy because the collapse of the dollar, and with it their economy, is imminent.

Otpor: The Youths Who Booted Milosevic
War Corporatism

A History of Bosnia and Serbia