Saturday, July 09, 2005

No Way Out 3

Less than a month ago the Belmont Club posted No Way Out which predicted that the Philippines was in a crisis which its institutions could not survive.

the protests threatening to upend Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after a leaked wiretap showed how she plotted electoral fraud against her defeated presidential rival, the now-deceased Fernando Poe Jr. But whereas in the old days nearly everyone would have welcomed the fall of a crook and fraudster, the prospect of the Nth "People's Power" revolution has filled many Filipinos with dismay. Not out of love for Gloria Macapagal but out of fear for what may follow. The essential problem facing the Philippines is that all its public institutions have been thoroughly corrupted. And as when all the bottles in the bar contain poison, there is little point in swapping one drink for another. ...

The dysfunctional nature of Philippine politics, taken to its ultimate conclusion means that if some kind of People's Power revolt doesn't take place, a coup attempt will or a rigged election will happen if all else fails. That's what a collapsing polity means.

Although some commentators considered this estimate of the Philippine situation "too pessimistic", this is implosion is exactly what has happened. The New York Times reports that ten Philippine cabinet secretaries have resigned and asked Gloria Macapagal to do the same on the grounds that it is better for her to depart the office legally than to face being turned out by extralegal means.

The political crisis facing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took a major turn on Friday when influential allies, including 10 of her departing cabinet officials and the former president, Corazón Aquino, called on her to step down. ... The 10 cabinet officials announced their resignations on Friday but said they had decided to leave their posts as early as Tuesday, having concluded that Mrs. Arroyo could no longer govern effectively under the cloud of scandal. When Mrs. Arroyo learned about the planned mass resignations, she pre-empted them by announcing Thursday night that she had ordered her whole cabinet to resign. There has been concern here in the past month that the crisis could spin out of control, providing an opportunity for rightist elements to attempt a coup d'état.

The rub is that Arroyo's constitutional successor is an ex-TV anchorman called Noli de Castro, now vice-President, who rose to stardom on the back of his signature opening line. "Good evening" (long pause) "everybody". Apart from the fact that de Castro is singularly unqualified to do anything outside of show business, the balkanized Philippine political system cannot even agree on whether the vice-president is in the line of succession. According to the Philippine ABS-CBN news agency:

Although the opposition seems united in calling for the ouster of President Arroyo, its leaders appeared to have divergent views on how to replace President Arroyo and on who would take her place. Former senators Francisco Tatad and Loren Legarda and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos appeared before mediamen during the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo Hotel news forum Saturday to air their views as calls for the President to step down snowballed on Friday. Tatad said he is now amenable to the succession of Vice President Noli de Castro as president, but with certain conditions. ...

Legarda, a candidate for vice president in last year's election, said de Castro cannot assume office because "he has no legitimacy for presidency." ... "De Castro cannot assume the post of president in case of vacancy in the position because he was not duly elected in the 2004 elections," Legarda said.

Marcos, whose father Ferdinand was toppled in a popular uprising in 1986, presented a different approach. She said the Constitution allows "people power" in ousting a president and Fernando Poe Jr.'s widow, Susan Roces, should lead the nation if Arroyo was deposed. ...

Opposition Sen. Jinggoy Estrada earlier said the presidency should be returned to his father, former president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted in 2001 in a military-backed popular revolt. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel proposed replacing Arroyo by way of a snap election.

I predicted in the comments section of No Way Out 2 that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's presidency was finished but that her departure would solve nothing because the underlying problem was the wholesale collapse of Philippine institutions.

I think Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is doomed. Her presidency is held up by nothing but the fear of worse and she is doing her damndest to show that nothing could be worse than she already is. Tick. Tick. Tick. But declaring Gloria doomed is not the same thing as welcoming her replacement. Philippine society being what it is, the forces best able to out-bug, out-intimidate and out-bribe her are the wise guys. And they'll get in, because that's how the politics of desperation works.

(Speculation alert) Here's what I estimate will happen in the Philippines. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be driven from office one way or the other. She will be replaced by vice-buffoon Noli de Castro, or some other nonentity, who will last another six months, if that. Following that, the Philippines could enter a period of complete instability, under which paradoxically enough, things will proceed more or less normally since the government hardly functions as it is. The Philippine government may then descend into the modern counterpart of Rome's Year of Four Emperors, where multiple and successive "Presidents" finish out the remainder of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's original term. Then the real danger will begin. It is hard to predict the exact form of the peril but it may take either the shape of a coup de etat attempt against a discredited State or one of the "Presidents" may set up a rival capital in a regional center like Cebu in the Visayas or Davao City in Mindanao. If that point is reached there will probably be clamor for international intervention under the auspices of a regional body like ASEAN under which a caretaker government will be appointed until UN supervised (yeah I know) elections are held to re-establish legitimacy. It would be a catastrophe of the first order.

This is one time I hope I'm wrong.


Blogger Beyond The Rim... said...

To me the real question is why was Europe and the US are so relatively stable while almost all of the rest of westernized world is in unremitting chaos. It appears to me that the Protestant Reformation brought with it more than just a change in religious thinking. Those countries in which it took hold or were heavily influenced by it seem to be among the most stable to this day. And those countries heavily infuenced or controlled by Catholicis and Islam are the least stable. Russia, India, Japan, and Singapore are in some ways not part of this equation but I don't think they invalidate the observation.

7/09/2005 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I lived in an Islamic nation and it was completely stable.

Their ruler passed away last November (and had been ill for a long time) and the passage of power to his eldest son went without a hitch. I can not remember who said it, but it was not myself. Islam is bloody on its fringes.

Most people I talk to who know of and follow the situation are also pretty grim. But they are here in the US and it is many miles from them just as it us.

A couple of weekends ago at a citizenship party one person I was talking to was pretty down about it all and we started tossing names and my co-discussionist suggested Senator Lacson as a possible replacement.

Oh sayang.

7/09/2005 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Looks like you're headed for a long cold reconsideration of the elementals, alright. Object lesson in the need for two honest parties. Two institutional memories(with the power to clean themselves), watching each other and likewise vice-versa.

7/09/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Rice said...

I served in the Philippines as an American diplomat from 1993-95. The Philippines is best understood as a Latin American country, having been a Spanish colony for about 300 years (until 1898) and having been ruled from Mexico City by the Spanish viceroy there until the early 1830s.

Added to this, the Filipino elite cooperated with the Japanese occupation and puppet government during WWII, while the resistence to the Japanese was in large part only by the Filipinos masses, leading to a major disconnect between the elite and the masses that continues to this day.

I see no signs of the conditions in the Philippines getting any less bad than they are now, and I see great opportunities for al Qaeda groups in the Philippines, in particular in the Muslim south as the government in Manila becomes even more disrupted by corruption.

While the Filipino people are warm and very friendly, the Filipino political culture is fundamentally irrational and corrupt.

7/09/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Filipinos are admired around the world for their intelligence and capacity to do excellent work. Why are things such a mess back home?

There are many fine filipino professional people in Canada. I must wonder whether the dysfuncional culture in the PI is driving its best people to other shores. I have heard that many billions of dollars is sent back to the PI from western countries, from the diaspora.

7/09/2005 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No way out
Another UN protecterate
Peace keepers from Pakistan patrolling the streets of Manila

I just can't see it

How violent will the anarchy be?
Are the Philipines basicly peaceful or is it a pressure cooker ready to blow?
Does the country splinter and will the Islamist insurgents gain practical control of the southern regions?
Talibanian Afghanistan redux?

If it really is a Latin American model, wow, scary.
No way out but up

7/09/2005 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"While the Filipino people are warm and very friendly, the Filipino political culture is fundamentally irrational and corrupt."
Ain't that the truth.
Up would be to be annexed by Australia.

7/09/2005 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Marcus is being coy.
I just read that, (WHERE HE WAS) but once again it is very late in paradise.

Please do tell, Marcus!
You taught at?

7/09/2005 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

In some bizzare replay of Israel,
Kofi, at gunpoint, institutes USA derived plan to put the diaspora in command.
Wretchard, the equivalent of Chalabi, becomes interim Head of State.
(plan courtesy of Imam Al Dwug)

7/09/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

Sounds just like Argentina.

7/09/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Argentinians are very friendly."
True, again.

7/09/2005 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will nuts do as a replacement for warm?

7/09/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think the answer to above the rim's question is that the "rest of the westernized world" really is not westernized.

The western world is Europe, North America, Austrailia, southern Brazil and the rest of the southern end of South America.
These areas are stable and in general, liberally progressive.

The northern regions of South America have large indiginous populations. Unlike the South, there was never "ethnic cleansing" of the natives. The Philipines have a similar situation, Africa... well what can be said.
The populations of these regions are not 'western'

7/09/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Marcus Aurelius: I think (speculation alert) that Wretchard lives in the Philippines. He might be miles from the events, but not hundreds or thousands of miles. He seems right on top of the topic of the future (or current) failed state of the Philippines.

Buddy Larson: On the elementals, we might have to look at the health of our own Democratic Party. I am very concerned about their ability to clean and restore themselves. This could be a dangerous time (post 2008) in America. Right now we have a strong leader who never desired to wear the purple. If the Democratic Party collapses, without replacement, under the threat of terror, and involved in a war of existence, than our hopes lie in the American citizenry. The media is filled with unserious morons who can be swayed to extremes. Trouble could be coming for us.

7/09/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Argentina is generally stable, just mismanaged. No rebels or gulags, today. Not much worse than Italy

7/09/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Boghie said... "()"
I'm bet'n on Australia.
Larsen was being ironic about our situation, which shall go unmentioned.
(In the interests of sanity, propriety, and something else that I need a lot of.)

7/09/2005 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That 8:01 post almost sound ethnocentric, even to me, 'Rat.
...but perhaps your perspective is informed by experience, whereas mine is "informed" by "education?"

7/09/2005 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


7/09/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

VDH has a piece in Wash Times about the Dems.

"... instead of the hard, necessary work of winning the public over to a systematic alternative vision, the Democratic leadership seems to hope a quickie scandal, a noisy filibuster or a slip overseas will tip a few million voters and thus return the Democrats to power. ..."

Much like many of the dissenters posting here. When they have a good 'anti' Admin point, of which there are many, they loose control of themselves and spew the venom of obsenity and personal insult.

When I am accused of being a Bush lacky, well, I just have to laugh. It is not that many of us love Bush, it is just that the alternative is dismal.

7/09/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wouldn't want reality to get in the way of your reeducation, doug

7/09/2005 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

One good thing is that the unserious Left was represented by the extremely unserious Left this past week on Err America.

Any sane Center Left individual will now know the importance of 'cleaning themselves'. We will see.

Has anyone else traversed the radio dial to the ranting and raving station in your area? If I were center left politically I would be very concerned when Jerry Springer is convincingly advertised as 'The Voice of Reason'. He really is the most sane host on the San Diego Err America station.

7/09/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and you didn't address 'rims Protestant/Catholics divide.
Religionist meets Ethnocentrist.

7/09/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Imam Al Dwug represents the serious America of today.
(As seen from the Hilarious Left.)

7/09/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I got my reeducation in Korea.
...then I was reeducated,

7/09/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do not see the root of the problem in religion.
Branches of Christianity as opposed to Buddahists, Hindus and Pagans, even the Islamists.
As Marcus noted that someone else noted the Muslims have a stable society.
Most of the challenges come when the "West" imposed a warped version of itself on an indig population.
When the Belgians controlled the Congo they did not try to replicate Belgium, they raped the country, as the UN Piecekeepers now rape the children, there.

7/09/2005 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So it's the "west" raping the indige's.
Rascals in Paradise, Indeed!
...I thought that was the French.

7/09/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Speaking of Korea, news-flash just now, after a one year standoff, NoKo just agreed to return to the negotiating table. Uhh...Unocal?

7/09/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I should know sarcasm when I see it...

Too early in the morning on the left coast - and before the coffee hit...

7/09/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We have to look at the Colonial period to find the basis of the current situation.
The Spanish 'raped' Central America. No doubt in my mind of that. The US, after the Civil War, did not greet the Plains Indians with 'Peace and Love'. There are no indigs in Argentina, Uruguay or southern Brazil.
Where the indigs were destroyed there are 'Western' civilizations. Where the indigs were subjugated, but not destroyed there is turmoil.
Perhaps there is a cause and effect, perhaps not

7/09/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I wasn't being sarcastic, Boghie--whatever political bottom is being plumbed by Filipino pols, some of ours are there, too, or below. Fortunately for USA, ours have by and large gathered themselves into one of the two parties.

7/09/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I will contemplate THAT in the am.
Do I now have to undergo re re re-education?
Oh! the Humanity!
(and the ex-dem name is already taken)

7/09/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ali doug el Belmonti

7/09/2005 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sounds damn good to me.

7/09/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but of course, my real persona is,
Imam Al Dwug.

7/09/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Al W'az bin F'qed Uhp'n D'haid?

7/09/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's Haitian!

7/09/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Dick Turban" "JFK2" "Snorkle Blimp"
My Haid Hurts!

7/09/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Bishops Reluctant to Ask Arroyo to Quit

7/09/2005 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Fox just reported a "huge" wave of arrests in the Milan area, up to 200 terrorist suspects, with many "immediate deportation" orders in the hands of Italian police.

Go get 'em, Western Civ!

7/09/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

The observation about the VP raises an important question: Why did Filipinos accept such a person to be P/VP in the first place?

A populace easily hoodwinked and swayed by star power deserves every bit of what they have coming. Friendly and warm they might be individually, but a mob of them are probably a bunch of suckers.

Sorry if my own personal attitude towards the Phillipines isn't too charitable. I can like individual Filipinos just fine, but their whole nation sucks hard. Maybe it's because I could never quite forget nor forgive the time when they burnt Singapore's flag because we sentenced to death a Filipino maid(Flor Contemplacion) who committed murder.

Wretchard, you think the wholesale collapse of Phillipine institutions is the underlying problem, but at an even deeper level it's down to the psyche of the average citizen and how they view the world and the political process. Filipinos are, on a whole, not a rational, thinking people. Why, I don't know.

The voters voted wrongly, but would they ever look at themselves and admit they were wrong, and use new criteria for selecting their leaders? No! Being a voter means never having to say you're sorry for getting the wrong person in power.

They will reap what they sow. In full measure. I'm only sorry for the lives that will be lost in the chaos.

7/09/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Italians must have gotten a copy of that 42 page action plan.
Now THEY go for Rendition, after wanting to arrest our agents for the same thing.

7/09/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Maybe the kerfuffle over our agents was a part of this, in some way.

Yeo, just speculating, but the same mentality that elects a symbol (a TV star) gets inflamed over a criminal case, or a flag-burning. It's all irrational--and everybody's guilty, and we all need to put effort into self-control.

7/09/2005 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

AQ just announced they beheaded the 4th (still missing) SEAL. No verification from our military--just a blurb on FoxNews. This if true will create some problems for AQ, may I say with understatement.

7/09/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard, get out...

7/09/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yeah, if we were to elect a movie star to the Presidency we would be irrational, better that we elect a life long Senator with gravitus.

You don't really believe that, do you?

7/09/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, I was speaking about "...Arroyo's constitutional successor is a corrupt ex-TV anchorman called Noli de Castro, now vice-President, who rose to stardom on the back of his signature opening line. "Good evening" (long pause) "everybody".

7/09/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretchard has pointed out - and I have personally observed - the industriousness and dedication of the Phillipinos who have left the home islands for elsewhere.
Beyond the Rim asks : "Why was Europe and the US so relatively stable..."
I am convinced that one secret of American success is that we are comprised of people who got disgusted with where they were at, went looking for something better, and built it. The brillance of the framers derives in part from that fact, as does the success of their philosophical heirs in implementing their vision.
Now, much of our foreign policy is dealing with messes in the places our ancestors got disgusted with hundreds of years ago, combined with battlement in why they cannot see the obvious as we can. The redountable VDH has obeserved more than once that Americans are getting disgusted with much of the world, and that should make the rest of the world quake in fear.
The question that comes to mind is: Did we "ruin" those places we left by drawing off all the people who were both disgusted with the situation there and had the gumption to go somewhere else? Or is the situation in the Phillipines and many so other places the normal, natural state of man and the USA is an anomaly because of the unique nature of our origins?

7/09/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

And, of course, the "Ronald Reagan, Movie Star" bit was never bought by anyone who could look at the guy and hear his words.

The other side could neither see or hear him.

You know the problem. Lack of ability to connect compartments leaves one free to fixate on selected compartments--and ignore the whole (the "whole" which is AKA "reality").

7/09/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here we are, doing battle and spilling blood in the pursuit of founding Federal Republics around the world.
Where we have established this type of Government we demean those elected.
I do not know of this TV Anchor man or much of anything about the Philipines, I do know that if, as a Nation, we do not support our Allied Republics and the rule of law within them, all will be for naught.
If we do not like the outcomes of the elections, the Diem option will lead to disaster. The original JFK proved that.
As W. stated there may be
No Way Out

7/09/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Did you ever notice the uncanny resemblance between the accusations made against the Reagan Admin and those the Clinton Admin was actually guilty of? Eg:
1. "Nothing but an empty suit." We now know that Ronald Reagan wrote much of his own work and was thinking about his ideas for years beforehand. Bill Clinton however...
2. "The Wife is Really In Charge" Few people seem to recall the assertions that Nancy was running the show while the "empty suit" looked pretty. As for Hillary know the story.
3. "Soft on Terrorism" This one is painfully obvious.
4. The "sleaze factor". Many Reagan admin were accused of impropriety. Clinton uped the ante and many of his steff actually went to jail.
5. "He will get us into a war." Reagan finished the greatest war in history, the Cold War, and initiated the biggest arms reductions in history. Clinton got us into some new wars, refused to fight one we were already in (the one we have now), and did zip when it came to arms control.
There are many more examples. Anyway, I think it is uncanny....

7/09/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Good point, rat. I was after something similar, myself, in my aside to Yeo. It's not enough to have the right solution--that can be a matter of luck. What's important is to arrive the right way. Then you can have the wrong solution, without disaster to your political duty to let logic and evidence precede emotion. So says I from my high horse, from which I dismount every time I contemplate my own emotional response to the likes of the Al Gores and JF Kerrys and Ted Kennedys here at home.

7/09/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

That theory ignores Taiwan, China, India, SOuth Korea, and Japan.

7/09/2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

rwe, it IS uncanny. So many things like that in the last few if Nature herself is going Manichaen on us.

7/09/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Then again, Buddy maybe it is very simple: As Rush says "They have the same old playbook and they never change it."
But I do know that there was one particular nation who loved to falsely accuse its adversaries of doing exactly what it was planning to do: The USSR.
Same playbook?

7/09/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If Gore had been elected and 9-11 occurred, Jr would still be a Marine. Our Republic would still function and the Government would not have fallen.
Would we have reacted in the same way, perhaps not. Would we have reacted, without a doubt. In reality there is no telling what would have happened.
The most analogous example to this Pilipino challenge is the Nixon Administration. Remember that before Nixon could be impeached or forced from office our own VP had to be removed.
No one remembers President Agnew,
ever wonder why?

7/09/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

Me thinks Wretchard is just informing us that the Philippines are not a viable republic. They are a corrupt kleptrocracy. That is they are Mexico, but further along in their slide to chaos.

As such, they are not much of an ally. They are more of a problem.

7/09/2005 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I'd say so--and it's an ancient old playbook. Reds just slicked it up. Mosaic law covered it as "false witness".

7/09/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All Asian countries.
All, but India, were never colonized by 'Western' nations. I would discount the trade / opium wars in China as a successful colonization. The 'West' never held sway there.
Singapore and Hong Kong being obvious exceptions. They and India may be the examples that prove the rule.
Perhaps the ethnic / cultural bagrounds of the native peoples have more to do with the ultimate outcomes than brushes with 'Western' values.

7/09/2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Interesting to speculate a Gore 911 reaction. I can see one of two things, an international peace conference with OBL an invited guest, or, hit a few red buttons. Maybe both. But, not a measured institutional response. Too much rock-star ethos in the latter-day Demo party.

7/09/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The modern hard left would do nothing effective until the masses forced them to.

The implication is that, as Buddy Larson stated, the response would not have been logical. The delay would have resulted in more and more casualties. The al Qaeda movement would have grown in population and surface area.

There would have been no option but Total War. Now, with the strong leadership we have, we are at least able to attempt something else.

7/09/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It would be a catastrophe of the first order.

Maybe I'm missing something, but can someone explain to me why a catastrophe for the Phillippines should be of first order importance for me here in America?

They're supposed to be allies. Sorta. Kinda. But what have they *really* been for the past few decades except for another distraction as we try to prop them up and urge them into some sort of civilized behavior? Helping them chase their jihadist guerilla's about from island to island?

Bimbo President's pulling out of Iraq to save her little Filippino driver was the final straw for me, and if they need to collapse back to the bottom line before they can rebuild themselves, then why is that a problem? Especially why is that a problem for America, and especially how is that a problem of the "first magnitude"?

I sigh in advance, however, knowing that we'll probably have to fund the rebuilding part, once they've torn themselves apart.

I have a friend from the Middle East who has said that it would be fine with him if his country just imported our Constitution and book of laws and started living by them, in toto and word for word. What would happen if we told countries that have collapsed -- like Zimbabwe or the Phillippines -- that if they want any money or food, that is what they will *have* to do? Would the corrupt plutocrats be able to surmount the rule of law and elections?

7/09/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Speaking of Mexico and its slow-moving chaos, anyone have any personal anecdotes from there recently that would illuminate a desk-bound mind a little? All I think of is Romancing the Stone when the word "Mexico" pops in mente.

7/09/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


Other parallels in accusation/reality:

The Left accused John Ashcroft of abusing the law to intrude on people's privacy v. the Clintons sicced the FBI on the White House Travel Office staff, costing millions and never finding any crimes whatsoever;

The Left describing the Patriot Act as denying civil liberties v. Reno under Clinton burning to death several dozen American citizens at Waco, men, women and children;

The Left accusing Bush of unilateral war in Iraq v. excusing unauthorized bombing of the former Yugoslavia as "preventing genocide" ....

It goes on and on. As long as they pretend history is fungible, it always will go on and on.

You know, there were no terrorists in Iraq before Bush f'ed it all up.

And, of course, Clinton attacked Al Qaeda before Bush did!

Is it Miller Time yet?

7/09/2005 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

On the issue of "Why is it more successful here" etc.

It has nothing do with religion. It has all to do with checks and balances. Countries like the US have strong and INDEPENDENT branches of government that keep each other in check. The Philippines has a similar form of government. But it doesnt help when your prez of the country, the Chief Justice is your cousin and the head of the armed forces is your nephew. It doesnt help when your elected officials are all under the pay of businesses and special interests. The main problem in the Phillippines is really the goverment. Nothing else. Its population is highly skilled and it has abundant natural resources. It has a government whose officials run for the sole purpose of enriching themselves and their relatives. "What are we in power for?" is the statement thats common place down there. Its impossible to pass things like anti nepotism laws regardless how loud the masses clamor for them. Other things that tries to keep the goverment in check down there is the Catholic Church. Sin, the political cardinal who helped topple Marcos passed away. But all the Church can really do is protest in the streets. The other check is the media which can be vocal about corruption issues, but outside the main cities people dont have access to it. The Filipinos need to do a complete overhaul of their government.

7/09/2005 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Yes, it's Miller Time!

Travelgate was because of thwo things 1) the White House travel office was traditionally non-patronage, so Hill couldn't just fire the staff--yet her friends the Bloodworth-Thomases (travel industry entrepreneurs) wanted the office. So 2) the chief was fired over a charge of "financial mismanagement". After a financially ruinous defense, he was aquitted by a jury in a record short-deliberation time.

7/09/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Byron York recaps it short 'n sweet.

7/09/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...


When the word 'Mexico' is sounded do not think of 'Romancing the Stone'.

Instead think of 'Without Remorse'

That book (movie) is far closer to the reality in modern Mexico. I live in San Diego. I think Fox may be alright, but the corruption is incredible...

You can be forgiven if your mind moves to movies about managed economies and such – but then you would be posting on The Daily KOS and getting your news from The Daily Show.

7/09/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Tony, all true. We could probably write an entire book on the subject.
The really whacko one is that Pres Reagan was accused of living in a Hollywood make believe world. There was even a 60 Minutes piece on that topic.
Bill Clinton spent more time fooling around with Hollywood types than Reagan did when he was appearing in films - or was President of SAG. Clinton even had a TV producer, Harry Tomlinson, came out and write his "I'm sorry about Monica, kinda." speech. And the Tomlinson friendship was behind the Travelgate story.
Reagan left films long before he became Gov of CA. Clinton wanted to go make films with Speilburg when he finished his 2nd term.
Guess we are way off thread now, huh? Buddy started it! It's his fault!
Anyone see that guy on FNC the other day that wrote the new book on the analysis of terrorism?
Well, that is OT, too. Sorry...

7/09/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bimbo President's pulling out of Iraq to save her little Filippino driver was the final straw for me,

When Americans are held hostage in the Philippines, their military goes out of its way to mount a rescue. What did we do for them in Iraq? The Filipinos have been fighting terror well before it became vogue in this country. They've been fighting a Commie AND Muslim insurgency at the same time for 30+ years at the tune of 60,000 dead on the government side. One of the guys that bombed the World Trade Center was arrested by their police in Manila. What exactly have we been doing for them other than send them a few special forces units to "teach" them how to fight rebels and supply them with Vietnam era weapons?

7/09/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Oh yeah. POP!

A few more: the Bush administration is super-secretive v. Hillary's subpoenaed billing records suddenly showing up from no one knows where - in one of the most secure places in the world, Hillary's private quarters in the White House;

The Bush administration is paying off their rich friends with war booty (Halliburton) v. Clinton entertaining PRC agents in hundreds of visits to the White House, moving controlled technology from State to Commerce, and Hughes and Loral paying many millions in fines for security violations in PRC;

The Patriot Act lets them check your records at the library (Omigot!) v. one of Hillary's hired thugs got possession of hundreds of confidential FBI dossiers on former Republican administration.

(Sorry Wretchard, I've only spent a few weeks in the PI, don't have anything relevant to post on the topic of this thread. Well, the crushing poverty lining the streets of downtown Manila, families living by the sides of the crowded roads in shelters made of plastic sheeting, simple jungle huts with floors raised above the rat-covered grounds just outside the barbwire gates of the super-luxe Shangrila Hotel in Cebu. Ouch.

Oh, but before India became the outsourcing powerhouse it now is, the PI was the big offshore data entry capital of the world for three reasons: English speaking people, tremendous work ethic, relatively low wages (tho higher than India, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam (in that order of wages and quality of work). And I didn't like the food.)

7/09/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Bloomie -- didn't we have bases and soldiers there to help them hold in check their own indigenous bad guys? I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the Phillippines, but didn't their terrorism problem spiral out of control AFTER they priced themselves out of the American-military-base market and we closed the base down and took out most of our soldiers? 30 or 40 years ago?

So it's our fault, now, that *they* were too greedy and then too inept to manage their own affairs?

Why does America have to "help" every single podunk 4th rate banana republic in the world, or bear the condemnation of "failure to help them" when they screw it up? And then, *before* they screw it up spectacularly, we are accused of (1) buying their natural resources for less than they're worth, (2) creating an expanding world-wide hegemony, and/or (3) trying to enforce our Western degenerate way of life on a local population that has its own "special" ways of living?

7/09/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Lanny Nugen said...

Your prediction will come true. 3rd word countries people are used to their decaying environments and withdraw their energies to the immediate goal of physical survival, hence anything remote into the future will be ignored. They have given up the habit to look further down the consequences chain of actions.
The country can be rebuilt by pool of talent Philipinos in Western countries but without cultural and national pride in those expatriates, those talents are lost forever.

7/09/2005 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bloomie -- didn't we have bases and soldiers there to help them hold in check their own indigenous bad guys? So it's our fault, now, that *they* were too greedy and then too inept to manage their own affairs?

The US military never really engaged in the Filipino's fight against their insurgencies. As for being greedy, the US gov a the time backed Marcos. Reagan even invited the guy over here and hailed him as the "champion of democracy" in Asia. Even came out to tell the world that there was "cheating on both sides" during the Marcos vs Aquino snap elections. You forget we gave Marcos asylyum in Hawai bringing with him his suitcases of cash. We knew our military and monetary aid was being corrupted. we knew the guy was a brutal dictator. But we turned a blind eye at the oppression of the Filipinos for OUR own interests namely the bases.

7/09/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Why does America have to "help" every single podunk 4th rate banana republic

Because that banana republic(the Philipines) fought on our side during WW2 against the Japanese. Because many Filipinos enlist and serve in the US military and are dying over there in Iraq.

7/09/2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

...also, global game dept, because only a few hundred miles across the South China Sea separate Luzon from the PRC?

7/09/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Larsen -

Speaking of Korea, news-flash just now, after a one year standoff, NoKo just agreed to return to the negotiating table. Uhh...Unocal?

Bush is so tunnel visioned into his GWOT that if the Chinese de-nuked N Korea and got them to settle down he'd let the Chinese buy Boeing and Lockheed as rewards for their "solidarity against the evildoers". If China sends 30,000 soldiers to "help the Noble Freedom-Loving People of Iraq" Dubya might give them a lock on ANWAR's oil reserves.

On the Philippines, I agree with Wretchard. It would be a huge disaster. If democracy fails there, it has repercussions for other Asian countries trying to make democracy work, or be introduced in their lands. Fascist, free-market, wildly successful China might be a more attractive model for Burma, Indonesia, Malayasia, the Philippines itself.

7/09/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Last election, C4, the choice was between GWB and JFK2. So, you're worried about PRC? What was JFK2 gonna do about PRC?

7/09/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Sorry that I've been brusque with you in the past.

Btw, it's not Burma, it's Myanmar now. And if there's one people that longs for the return of the Brits, it's the Burmese. They already live in a fascist backwater that trades with China. It's not working out well. As tells us "The major importation commodity from Burma is log, jewelry, and timber, and etc."

7/09/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Condi's over in the area at this moment. NoKo is coming back to the table. Condi will be discussing a little thing called the Iran Bomb. Iran borders PRC. There's 60,000 multinational companies registered in USA--many operating in PRC. The Yuan is Dollar-pegged USA just signed a 10 yr military-coop pact with India. Japan and Australia are voicing concerns about PRC hegemony. IOW, the PRC exists, it is a player on the world stage, USA is doing great volumes of business with Chinese entities, and PRC is very much financially-interlocked with us--with less than half our GDP, and an average income of $5k. Huge mkt, huge potential to help the first world lift the third world. Things could go bad, sure, and we have to stay frosty militarily. But, get pissed and break off relations with them? Is that what you advocate? What exactly is your position, C4? Besides, you don't like Bush?

7/09/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah a Sino Asian Economic Zone would be a BAD thing. We are a Nation with worldwide interests that must be looked at in short, mid and long terms. If the Philipines collapse it will not serve US interests.
As C4 states which example would you follow, Manila's, Taipai's or Shanghai's.
Manila has been our long time ally, Taipai could be over run in 2007 and Shanghai would rule the economies of the Pacific Rim

7/09/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

The cosiness of the Filipino elites is like that of France (as described this am by Denis Boyles, who has written "Vile France.") It is also much like Canada's Liberal Party elites.

And this cosiness leads to incompetent, uncaring, irresponsible governance. The Philippines have the misfortune of being 3rd world, however, with not much room to fall, before complete anarchic disaster ensues.

Canada and France, with much farther distance to fall, are presently working their way from the First World down to the bottom of the 2d tier.

The United States and Australia - and until recently, Great Britain - had functioning Federal systems, with several competitive elites.

Britain, by killing off (in WWI) an independent House of Lords (the Lords were a land based elite, competing with urban socialist and business elites) is suffering the consequences thereto. Margaret Thatcher broke Britain's fall, for a time.

A disintegrated Philippines is a Big Problem for the USA and Australia: it presents a power vacuum in an extremely important part of the world. It is all about geography, geography, geography.

The trouble with using China as an example to follow is that its governing elite is the same as the Philippines', only much larger.

7/09/2005 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


C'mon - focus on the Zionist Chicom hegemony for a moment and it all beomes crystal clear. Read the "Protocols of the Elders of Sharpei". It outlines how one of the lost tribes wound up in central China at just the time when the first Chin dynasty was established.

You really need to get up to speed.

7/09/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They did sell the Chinese Fighter tech, didn't they

"...Perhaps the most troubling of all is the Israeli/Chinese arms relationship. Israel is China's second largest supplier of arms. Coincidentally, the newest addition to the Chinese air force, the F-10 multi-role fighter, is an almost identical version of the Lavi (Lion). The Lavi was a joint Israeli-American design based upon the F-16 for manufacture in Israel, but financed mostly with American aid. Plagued by cost overruns, it was canceled in 1987, but not before the U.S. spent $1.5 billion on the project. ..."
"... when the Navy EP-3E surveillance plane was forced to land in China after a Chinese F-8 fighter flew into its propeller, photos show Israeli built Python 3 missiles under the fighter's wings. ..."

"... Israel violated agreements by exporting restricted US technology it buys with yearly US subsidies. This was the case with the largely US-funded Lavi fighter-plane program. Israel, the Americans believe, passed on technology to Beijing. China's F-10 fighter jet is believed to be almost identical to the Lavi. ..."

Someone is cashing in on this stuff

7/09/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is there a green low water consumption model?

7/09/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

and it ain't GI Joe

7/09/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles would like that.

7/09/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"You can be forgiven if your mind moves to movies about managed economies and such –"
Much as I'd like to, I don't think I can blame Hollyweird for this.

7/09/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:12 AM
The Tacky Party.

7/09/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well if I was doing business from Jakarta to Rangoon or Bangkok to Manila the Chinese model is far superior when compared to America's former colony and oldest ally in the region

7/09/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The United Arab Emirates University. In the BUEC/UGRU unit (remedial).

When I get a chance I will catalog and blog the posts.

This is where I met my wife who hails from Cebu and mostly I hung with the OFW community instead of the American or Western community.

7/09/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Excuse me. I was not clear in expressing my thoughts. Yes I realize that Wretchard is very much closer to the scene and probably a few of the other commentators as well. I was essentially referring to myself and the OFW community I live in and around here in Northeastern Wisconsin.

7/09/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ex helo
on further thought your list of exceptions...
are they 'western'?

on reflection I came to the conclusion that they are all

are all modern

7/09/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

re: Yeo's post of
9:17 AM, regarding flag burning reminds me of something I've been thinking about lately:

90% of the bodies in the Vietnam Protest Movement were fueled mostly by the Draft, AT FIRST.
I guess this started morphing into the "it's cool," media fueled folks too, and this process has continued unabated 'til today, when we have 60 year old ignorant trolls parading around obviously seeing themselves as the latest, sexiest, most radical New New Thing on Earth.
This would be the leadership of the Democrat Party.

7/09/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Damn! I was going to put that down, Marcus.
Then I would be regarded here as a really *smart* Imam.
...or something.

7/09/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I think a part of the stability comes from what comes to be known as being an ownership society.

The US government made (let us refrain from any conversations about stealing the land from the Indians that is a fair conversation but now would be a distraction) it easy for people to claim land and come to own it. Those who were smart and industrious then had access to capital and grew their fortune.

In the Filipines many of the people are landless squatters. They may be hard working, smart and industrious, but have nothing to use as collateral to either hire workers or buy machinery.

7/09/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ever spent any time in Hawaii?
(aka the Eastern Phillipines)

7/09/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Yes, they did sell them classified technology and know-how.

Two U.S. Aerospace Companies Agree to Fines Over Helping China, NYT, 3/5/03

The technology used to launch civilian rockets and satellites is similar to that used to launch missiles so there are tight curbs — mostly administered by the State Department — on the export of satellites, aerospace equipment and related defense services.

The Chinese have always insisted that their rocket and missile programs did not need help from American companies. But a string of Chinese rocket failures in the 1990's ended only after American companies transferred data on guidance systems, telemetry, aerodynamics, and rocket failures.

In 1998, a Congressional panel criticized satellite manufacturers for sometimes subordinating national security to the "bottom line" and concluded that their "illegally transmitted" information had improved the reliability of China's civilian and military rockets.

7/09/2005 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Those who mentioned Singapore rarely realise just how close we came to being a socialist state. Just about the only reason we didn't was the iron will of a few politicians, especially LKY.

That guy had balls of cast steel, and as Anglosphere as they come, even if he refuses to show it(Cambridge law grad with frikkin two 1st class honours). If not for him, we could have ended up like Vietnam, and probably even worse.

In many ways, it was the British, who by providing a sound education for future Singaporean and Malaysian leaders, who enabled us to become prosperous. I suppose it was this injection of Western culture that saved us too.

For the Malaysians, they are too fond of their political squabbling to ever abandon democracy. I won;t worry about that, and even their muslim youth are getting more and more fed up with the hardline stance on 'having fun'.

7/09/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In many ways, it was the British, who by providing a sound education for future Singaporean and Malaysian leaders, who enabled us to become prosperous. I suppose it was this injection of Western culture that saved us too.
Here the missionaries did all that for the (surviving) locals.
Then, the 442nd came home and took over the Government.
No offense, Sen In No Way,

7/09/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"illegally transmitted"
Too much power, or wrong frequency?

7/09/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Off topic, sort of: British Police have ordered evacuation of downtown Birmingham, and a number of controlled explosions have ensued.

7/09/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/09/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Dennis Boyles"
Thanks for reminding me, Heather.
He's devastating.
Observations here concern centralized bureaucratic structures combined with extended family culture:
Recipe for shortcut to entrenched Big Govt.
But, regardless of culture, centralized bureaucracies by themselves always end up there anyway.

7/09/2005 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So both the Socialist Israeli Defese Industry and parts of the US Military Industrial Complex trade freely with the Chinese.

Our previous President supposedly recieved large amounts of monies from Chinese monks fronting for Mainland interests.

Could there have been a connection?

7/09/2005 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Easy to imagine how judgemental our offspring might be 30 years out,
of this period in history.
If there still is history.

7/09/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I meant OUR offspring.
The left will still be madly re-writing it as FDR2.

7/09/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Well, the arms sales to PRC are apparently responding to PRC's new more-bellicose posture as Israel canceled the recent deal on the anti-radar drones. A lot of stuff happened in the "buy the world a coke" 90s that we wish hadn't.

Marcus, wrt the plight of the landless who're trapped hand-to-mouth, this guy has nuts-and-bolts ideas. Maybe from the Philippine chaos will rise someone with the book in-hand.

7/09/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Should have included change in administrations here too Bud, imo.

7/09/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But I've heard complaints from the right about Sec. Snow.
Esp wrt to UNoCal.
What's the status with that?

7/09/2005 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Friedman for Education Czar!

7/09/2005 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Well, I guess I'll have to cancel that summer vacation to Philippines. The plastic shelters and rat-covered grounds don't match my travel brochure. I and really don't like the idea of getting my head sawed off by some jihad nut case.

But seriously, I feel the same as NahnCee: "Bimbo President's pulling out of Iraq to save her little Filippino driver was the final straw for me..." In the hour of testing the Coalition's will to stick together Arroyo folded like cheap paper bag. Hence, I had written-off her (and her cronies) as a reliable ally.

That said, do any of you guys have a constructive solution to Philippine problem? Wretchard's dismal picture of blue helmets (or worse, black masked AK-47 toting thugs) controlling the Islands is depressing.

7/09/2005 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Time line is several months before the stockholder's meeting--but I'm not sure when. Not immediate, tho. CNOOC's president Fu wrote the 'pro-sale' brief, it's here (read the comments, too, link @ bottom of page).

7/09/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Already said it:
Annexation by the Aussies.

7/09/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oh, "constructive."

7/09/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I don't much care for the WSJ's editorial stand on many matters.
Too Bad IBD is not king.
...but then they'd be more like WSJ, I guess.

7/09/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Ledger, what do you do with a good system being run by bad operators? My guess is that nothing happens--it looks frozen to me--but I apprehend about a thousandth of a percent of the facts. But, the Bishops want to ride it out as is, apparently. I guess hoping that folks will clean up their acts a bit.

7/09/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yay! Bud!
Great Comment to the Fu Man!
...and number 1 at the top.

7/09/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, that's not WSJ's letter, that's Fu of CNOOC--the buyer--proposed--of Unocal.

7/09/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Sad as it seems, you just can't beat oil out of a geologist.

7/09/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Too soon for pessimism?

The American Spectator said, all the way back when the US Military closed its base, that the Philippines were so rotten with corruption as to be beyond hope.

7/09/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, but my comment still stands, right or wrong.
IBD rules, imo.

7/09/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But I said that about Amerika.
Back in the Peanut days.
W/no kids.

7/09/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

property rights
remember, before it was

Life Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness

it was

Life Liberty & Pursuit of Property

read of deSoto's work before
Titles and credit markets create wealth.
Seems obvious but ...

7/09/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said... springs eternal.

7/09/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, it looks like that's a widespread feeling--with a 70% gov't stake, how can CNOOC be trusted? Has anyone ever, ever once in all of history, been able to trust a communist? It's like, duh, that's what communism is all about--the little ruler group does whatever it wants, the higher good, blah, feh.

7/09/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

well buddy,
the bishops are conservative

the situation may require radical action, but that would go against the grain. Status que, there or here...
DeLay comes out against closing an Air Base in TX. No sense of sacrifice for the common good. Cuts are ok in Liberman's backyard, but not his.

7/09/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

rat, de Soto's stuff isn't all academic--Fujimoro of Peru gave him a ministry--and Peru has been on the ascendant ever since. Their financial markets have had huge gains--and have pulled up the whole region.

7/09/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I recommend everyone read Andre Radnoti's post at Bud's link.
(After reading Bud's of course.)

7/09/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's the complaint about Secretary Snow Rat:
What was very bad under Clinton to the GOP base is good business to the Bush admin.

7/09/2005 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Yeh, true on de Lay--but look deeper, every single 'x'-off base has a congressman speaking out for it--nation-wide. Tradition, I guess. pro-foprma. Never works--but the constituents want to howl.

7/09/2005 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(and good business to the WSJ in too many cases)
esp illegal immigration.

7/09/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I have not been to the Philippines in some years. But I do keep tabs on things and remember enough of it to have some sense of how things work out.

7/09/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"What would have happened if Willy Messerschmitt from Nazi Germany said it would be a good thing if we took over this Boeing company prior to World War II? There is no difference now with the attempted Chinese take over of Unocal.

The fifth paragraph of this article opens with "Furthermore, ours is a business run by professional businesspeople." The real sentence should have read, "Furthermore, ours is a business run by professional businesspeople, whose very lives are dependent upon us listening to orders from the Communist Party."
No Chinese take over of Unocal!

7/09/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"pro-foprma" is when you hire an overdressed elite gentleman from the Scott & Zelda era to go-thru-the-motions.

7/09/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Like me and Panama
Seems reasonable to me.
Anyone that tracked the times of your posts would know you did not live there on the far side of the Pacific Rim.

7/09/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

For all those guys in Washington it's business as usual.
War = Time of sacrifice and danger, at least at my house.

7/09/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Alright, Wretchard, let's have it--where are you? All this time, I've had you in the Philippines--from something Hewitt (was it?) said on a TV program months ago.

7/09/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Let's be careful. It sounds like we're judging the Filipino people by a messed up political system.

In an earlier post I said the PI have a history of early and ongoing "outsourcing" success due to English speakers, tremendous work ethic, and relatively low labor cost. I forgot to mention high level of education.

Ledger - Didn't mean to spoil your plans. Go there, the people are great. Lots of the world has the little idiosyncrasies I mentioned.

7/09/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Kidnappings, beheadings and crispy crittered while hog tied in a barber's chair.
Great place to recreate
Call when you need help

7/09/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I thinks ya stays outta da red zones, huh?

7/09/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Their financial markets have had huge gains--and have pulled up the whole region."
Any updates "from that region" are appreciated, James. ;-)

7/09/2005 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The geography moron asks in all candor:
How do the posting times work?
...I know, I could figure it out.
But I know I'd be wrong.

7/09/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug--just google in some words--latin America markets--South American stock charts--whatever--experiment. Data deluge, at yore fangertips.

7/09/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ie where is baseline?

7/09/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I just wanted james k's personal touch.
Plus I'm lazy.

7/09/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

See time question.

7/09/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

my 4:36PM originated in USA CTZ @ 6:36PM on July 9.

7/09/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

This information is current as of today, Sat Jul 09 16:36:28 2005.


This Travel Warning is being issued to recommend that Americans consider carefully the risks of travel to the Philippines. Terrorist groups, including Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf Group, and radical elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are planning multiple attacks throughout the Philippines. This information has been also released by Philippine government officials and is in the Philippine media. This Travel Warning replaces the Public Announcement for the Philippines dated February 18, 2005.

7/09/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Have I established my iotp or whatever credentials yet?

7/09/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

So, Wretchard's ISP is in Californey?

7/09/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

So all the different blogs are different depending on where they are?
I thought Google was God of the Universe already.
Including Universal Time.

7/09/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Plus, I can't see how it works.

7/09/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do believe the posting times are Pacific Standard

7/09/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

time zones

7/09/2005 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

posts are usually done early morning or late evening. A schedule that is easy to understand. Mid day contributions are unusual.

7/09/2005 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What I'm asking is if Mr. Fu's blog is Calif time also.
Sorry, if this doesn't work I'll try to desist.

7/09/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Lived in Philipines post 1995.

7/09/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

if it's on blogger, yes, unless shown other wise.

7/09/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

So--duh--all Blogger postings are "from" USA PST?

7/09/2005 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Good work Wretchard in identifying another source of headache for the west. Looks like another former Spanish colony going into the dumps, this time with a delay of years from being a former American colonn. It seems to me that one of the best examples of former Spanish colonies is Chile. Maybe the Filipinos can find a "good" dictator to take them through a geneeration or two until the "local" revolutionaries can become controlled. Other than some of the historical challenged posters. Not that their point are wrong, just medlesome, it is apparant that the main islands need to become far more integrated economically. Disparities of elite greedy and dirt poor in that environment is redicuolous.

7/09/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


An article in a UK newpaper quoting Wretchard on the Navy SEAL situation in Afghanistan:,,1-524-1688012,00.html

7/09/2005 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It won't be aided by Ronnie Jr. that's for sure!

7/09/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What a place to work.
God bless them all.

7/09/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tony - They already live in a fascist backwater that trades with China. It's not working out well. As tells us "The major importation commodity from Burma is log, jewelry, and timber, and etc."

And America's top exports to China are timber, soybeans, steel, corn, pig meat, and aircraft. The last really pisses China off because it sees the US as only fit to export raw resources to China. So China is constructing it's own medium range aircraft factories stated to start churning out commercial planes ~2012-2014. No problemo on harsh language. Larsen, Ballard and a few others & me have had heated words about our "dear friend" Israel and it's equally "dear" backers.

To them, no criticism of Israel is allowed. Moving past the American secrets they sold or traded to the Soviet Union - looking at China --Besides the F-16 avionics, the Phylon 3 US sidewinder technology - Israel has also transferred Patriot missile fire control radar, American C3 communications gear, armor technology, satellite technology. They keep getting caught and counted on their clout with American Jewish campaign dollars going to Congress to keep them safe.

It kind of went sour when we saw the Israeli missiles adapted from proprietary US technology mounted on Chinese fighter. "What, we didn't tell you we were selling it??? Oy vey! If Congress gave us more money, we wouldn't need to sell your weapons secrets to your enemy!

Larsen writes: Well, the arms sales to PRC are apparently responding to PRC's new more-bellicose posture as Israel canceled the recent deal on the anti-radar drones.

No, actually Israel got caught in another deceit. They informed the US they were selling replacement parts based on licensed technology, but when we looked, we found the oh-so-clever Israelis once again lying. The Harpy parts were actually upgrades intended on giving the Chinese the cutting edge American ability to knock out other nations radar systems.

As a just for starters penalty that no amount of AIPAC palm greasing could stop, Israel has been declared an untrustworthy nation with respect to safeguarding American military secrets - and removed from the 12-nation Joint Strike Fighter Development Group.

Larsen - Just because Bush is a bad President doesn't mean Gore or Kerry would be better. Both are Jimmy Carters to Bush's Gerry Ford.

7/09/2005 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

chile economic recovery is a direct result of Milton Friedman's work

"...The "Miracle of Chile" is a phrase coined by Milton Friedman to describe the economic reform of Chile under Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1983. Friedman did not advise or support Pinochet ("I never advised Pinochet. I never supported Pinochet."), though he had given some lectures on economics for a private foundation in Chile. Friedman says that "The real miracle in Chile was not that those economic reforms worked so well, because that's what Adam Smith said they would do. Chile is by all odds the best economic success story in Latin America today. The real miracle is that a military junta was willing to let them do it." (The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise by Milton Friedman (

7/09/2005 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Zeno said...

"Where the indigs were destroyed there are 'Western' civilizations."

Not sure if it's exactly like that. I'm from southern Brazil. Mostly "Western" and "European" population. Even in the north indigenous are a minority and no cause for instability. In Central America could be, but I think it's less a cultural problem than a class issue (indigenous/black population are mostly poor). Indigenous and blacks (descendants from slaves) are pretty much westernized these days, just like anyone else.
That said, there must be a reason for the strange fact that most ex-colonies of Spain/Portugal are now corrupt or poor societies, and those colonized by the British have done much better. Religion? The kind of colonization? Genetics? I really don't know.

7/09/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

I don't WANT to know who Wretchard is, or where he lives, or what he looks like, or even if he is a "he." It's part of his mystique. And it's nice to be able to appreciate someone as a Thinker. It's a Platonic thing, really.

7/09/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

analysis is as analysis does

7/09/2005 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You missed my point, C4--the choice was Bush or Kerry. Bush won. Now, he is the guy carrying your water. So, what's with the sneer quotes and gratuitous turd-slinging? If he's doing a lousy job already, why make it even harder? Why not reserve the bile for your caucus, as you work thru the system to elect your own president next time around. Israel, it take her on her totality--from the Bible forward through a having a successful democracy as an ally in the mideast. If Israel acted shitty vis arms sales to PRC, then no I don't like it--but I have to remind you that the nation that really helped PRC strategically was the Clinton USA. The 90s were a security disaster, and Israel's part in it is rather tiny. Of course, you can isolate anything, de-context it, strip out all counter-arguments, puff it up with hot rhetoric, embellish with dubious and misleading quotation marks, and present as revelation. But, the cost of the fun is paid in credibility.

7/09/2005 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What both of you are missing in your rancorous exchange is the solution that becomes apparent if you are looking for it:
Gerry Ford in 2008 !

7/09/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Desert Rat,

Look at the underlying basis for the system of jurispudence. Roman based systems show a much lower respect for property rights than do systems based on English Common Law. Culture and religion carry rather less weight than the legal system. It's an area that I do not believe that DeSoto addressed sufficiently in his proposals for developing capital structures in the third world. Roman based systems give much more weight to precedence and relative societal position than do Common Law systems. Legal systems developed from materialistic systems of thought - socialism and communism are far worse than even the Roman system.

That's why betting against China's existence in fifteen years as currently constituted would make you a lot of money.

7/09/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great point Rick.
Now how do we get our legal system back when most judges these days place more weight on previous decisions than the plain language of the Constitution?
Maybe they should have gone "Nuclear" long ago.

7/09/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...I forgot to include decisions handed down in FOREIGN Countries.

7/09/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Heather--you're right--let him stay undercover--point taken.
(psst, Wretchard, Australia?) ;-)

7/09/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Sorry Wretchard,

I thought I sleuthed you to the Philippines by time stamps or something I heard from Hewitt... Probably both. And both bunk...

I was actually just responding to Marcus' post (which was good and just). He mentioned that we all were quite distant from the epicenter. I thought I placed you at the center point.

It is rude to be curious - and to write about it.

Just glad you are not there and hope your friends are safe and can get out if need be.

7/09/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rick, from direct observation, I can say you're right about the 'tightness' of contract law. Disputes are much more statute-resolved here than say, Venezuela, where changing conditions can obviate some promises without automatic breach--as here.

7/09/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Remember Guys,

Curiosity Killed the Cat…

And Wretchard is The Cat…

Don’t want him to quit posting because we part time private eyes want to track him down… He is not being paid seven figures (yet!!!) for his analysis - but he is being referenced in the news (Downed US Seals may have got too close to Bin Laden)

Back to the Philippines!!!

Could the Philippines easily become a client state of China if the social structure collapses? Will the local culture lead in that direction? How would such a transition affect Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia? It is going to be a very dangerous part of the world.

7/09/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will "Private Good = Public Good (minus private property) awake the majority?

7/09/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Had never thought of that
Very interesting

7/09/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/09/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

along that line, someone said (on tv) that GWB could easily end up with 4 (four!) replacements. My gosh--the salvation of mankind is within reach (no sarcasm)!

7/09/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

How does the legal system analyses address the Asian Tigers

7/09/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But her picture remains frozen in my mind.
(Yeah, 'Rat, w/a lot of other stuff.)

7/09/2005 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

frozen in time and space

7/09/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

in that void beyond the great divide

7/09/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

an infinitely-compacted nothing spinning in the vast universe of eternity.

7/09/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ali doug el Belmonti
Imam of the Inet

7/09/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Ali D'uzis Babl!

7/09/2005 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


Each of the Tigers legal systems was influenced by colonial systems. Generally, French colonies followed civil (Roman) law as expressed in the Napoleonic Code, Spanish colonies followed civil as expressed in the derecho comun and British followed English Common Law with its particular emphasis on stare decis. Practically speaking, all the countries involved also incorporated custom into their legal process to a greater or lesser extent.

The Phillipines actually operates on a blended system incorporating some of the worst aspects of both the British/American systems and the Spanish derecho comun. Stare decis carries a fairly low weight - which allows judges far to free a rein in interpretation.

Contract law interpreted in a purely civil system is fairly frightening, which is why international trade is generally conducted in accordance with the principles of Common Law.

The US imposed Common Law on the Phillipines while it was a US possession and on Japan (and by extension South Korea) subsequent to WWII. Of course, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong were all heavily influenced by the Brits.

7/09/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Point Taken!
Imam Al Gone.
(plus you may haved saved my life.
Honeydue pile requires oxygen bottle for ascent.)

7/09/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Of course--as we see in early development here in USA--judges unmoored to writ are the opening into system corruption. Or at least, the opportunity of such is there for the taking.

7/09/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ya just had to get that taking word in there, didn't you?

7/09/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(I was stuck to my seat, so I,

7/09/2005 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Japan about to dump Article 9?

7/09/2005 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug--got the same problem--bathe more often.

7/09/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


Put that in the hopper with the US/India tightening of defense links. Gee, that almost seems like it might be part of a forward thinking containment policy.

Nah, the Bushies are too dumb for that - and besides what would Israel get out of the deal?

7/09/2005 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Thanks Rick.

For me, a new insight on Common Law.


7/09/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Look at the timings of these things--with Condi's visit. As sure as water flows downstream, China is going to be presented with a beautiful picture of why they should apply some of the military spending to interior infrastucture. Something they need badly vs something that is going to blow-back before it can capitalize itself.

7/09/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

And since she doesn't have a photo-op boss, all these things can go down quietly, without fanfare. without dancing Madelines. Old-school diplomacy vs MTV diplomacy.

7/09/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Had never thought of it in that way. refreshing thought


7/09/2005 07:36:00 PM  

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