which is why Duterte was elected here: the Manila establishment was in the pockets of the USA(or should I say American money was in their pockets).
I had the opportunity to see first-hand what separates a banana republic from the land of the free and the home of the brave. It comes down to the grit of a few people willing to do their job come hell or high water--not look the other way, not accept the stuffed envelope or its equivalent in post-government employment, but to treat a job as a sacred trust given by the people....
In Latin American kleptocracies, the fellow whose job it is to turn off your gas when you fail to pay your gas bill takes a bribe instead, and passes most of the bribe up the line to his superiors. The secretary in a government office takes a bribe to hand you a form that you have to fill out to ship wood from Michoacán to Mexico City, which you then take to the office next door with another bribe, and so forth. Everyone is on the take. The system corrupts everyone. If you want to be honest, you emigrate.
One local writer quipped that here in the Philippines, bribes are taken above the table, below the table, and with the table...
related item: Rio elects a pastor as mayor.
reuters insists he will be practical, not puritan, but you know, one reason the middle class is behind him is his "puritanism", i.e. rule of law. And they point out that evangelicals "only" are a quarter of the population...
someone tell the Pope that the Evangelicals are teaching people rule of law, moral living and the idea that hard work will result in your family being more prosperous...
The Pope is still stuck in the 1960's pushing socialism as religion and his part about being nice to the poor translates to politicians that it's okay to steal everything in sight as long as you give money to the poor (and the church) as a "get out of hell free card".
Guess he didn't notice that that last part was what pissed off Luther about selling indulgences...
Of course, as soon as the inquisition went after him, Luther, joined forces with the greedy princes who promptly threw off Rome and looted all those rich monasteries, and when the poor, who liked Luther for going against greedy bishops, decided to rise up against the greedy princes, he took the side of the rich and powerful.
But never mind.
it's ecumenical season again, and the Pope is now claiming that writing against ecumenicalism is a sin. (along with air-conditioning of course).
David Warren quotes the Pope's spokesperson on the sins of the Catholic faithful:
People like me are “obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith and liturgical practices, very disturbed broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life, holy executioners, deeply troubled, sad and angry.” I’ve selected these descriptives from a single sentence of Fr Thomas Rosica’s, last May, when he was speaking on the need for dialogue, and receiving some media award.Now now, Mr. Warren: tell us what you really feel...
he then goes on to discuss the Pope's clueless visit to Sweden,
His homily for this Hallowe’en was, I am relieved to see, full of breezy ecumenical platitudes, and tooth-grinding historical clichés, of no doctrinal substance whatever; though he did declare a new category of sin: not against Christ, but against “ecumenism.” I am tempted to commit one of those. The Reformation was the greatest disaster to befall the Western Church, and its anniversary is an occasion for lamentation, not the sort of celebration we associate with professional sports.
The Lutheran churches there are empty, and the Catholic churches are increasing in number, but partly because of Middle Eastern and Pinoy immigrants.
Actually, there are pious Lutherans, not in Europe, but in Minnesota-- and Africa. Namibia anyone?
related item: StrategyPage on China's new strong man who is trying to decrease corruption there.
Most Chinese consider the communist rulers as flawed as the ancient monarchy and note that democracy seems to have worked for other East Asians (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore). But the communists, like the old imperial aristocracy, are reluctant to admit defeat and many Chinese are reluctant to back radical changes. Yet even the senior leaders know that the democracies have proved most effective at dealing with corruption. In China the corruption is a major problem in the economy and the military.
only Trump is wise enough stupid enough to mention the corrupt business practices there, but I guess it takes one to know one.
So where are all the articles on Trump's crooked businesses? All the NYTimes shouts about is that he was crafty enough to use a legal tax loophole...(that has since been shut)... uh, it was legal? And a lot of other folks, includingHillary used the same loophole in the past...
if you read the whole article on China, you will find that Duterte has persuaded China to stop harassing our fishermen and allow them back in their traditional fishing grounds.
and they will help in the war against drugs.
the USA isn't worried that the Philippines was turning into another Mexico: They only lament the poor innocent drug pushers killed. I have to laugh about how reporters find "innocents" who were killed. Yes, a few innocent people caught in the crossfire, but reading between the lines suggest they probably were guilty.
Chinese cooperation can be useful because China is the largest market for regional producers of traditional (opium, heroin, hashish) and artificial (meth, Ecstasy and other new synthetics) drugs. What China knows about producers and distributors can be useful to the Philippines, which is a much smaller market but also a waypoint for drug smugglers moving product south and east. China also has a lot of experience with drug rehabilitation and has offered to build a large rehab center and help train the staff in Chinese methods.
Compare and contrast to the 900 dead in Chicago this year, or that in the US, 40 thousand have died of drug overdoses... usually heroin or similar opiods either diverted (usually stolen) from patients but mostly smugled in from Mexico.
But the press and the CDC instead are pretending it is the doctor's fault, so they are trying to pressure doctors to stop prescribing pain pills and making them the scapegoat...
Of course, this will mean that cancer patients, those in chronic pain, and the dying will have a lot more suffering, but hey, just pass "assisted suicide" laws, and no problem...