A coup of their own

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Add the possibility of a coup to the two most popular arguments currently being advanced by generals, former generals, certain congressmen, and the usual media hacks to stop the House hearings on military corruption.

The first argument, repeated so often its imbecility is beginning to sound like words of wisdom to the unthinking, is that General Carlos F. Garcia is being singled out for persecution. After all, says this argument, there is as much corruption in the rest of the government as there is in the military.

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Poisoned fruit

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Because Francisco Tatad fancies himself a writer–as he is indeed fancied by others who think that all anyone needs to be one is the capacity to put words on paper–one must assume that he chooses his metaphors carefully.

If Tatad was quoted accurately last week, we may thus assume that his description of the Arroyo government as “ripe for the picking” was the result of some thought. Surely he must have considered its appropriateness and nuances, and its capacity to make an otherwise unfamiliar concept familiar through an implied comparison with something known. Continue reading

The last to know

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The corruption in and of the Arroyo government is by now fairly well-established, and so is its ineptness. But it is also rapidly outranking the Estrada administration in stupidity.

The most recent signs of that distinction were supposed to have been exercises in a cunning attempt to defuse the developing crisis of confidence in her administration. Continue reading

Prescription for regime change

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Founded in 1973 with an initial funding of over a million dollars from some of the most extreme right-wingers in US politics (among its first funders was beer brewer Joseph Coors, who has been described as “anti-labor, racist and homophobic”), the Heritage Foundation is probably the most influential policy research organization in the world.

The Foundation first came to full prominence during the two Reagan administrations (1980-1984; 1984-1988), which adopted most of its policy recommendations on domestic and international issues. Those policies included the cutbacks on federal funding for welfare and affirmative-action programs, and the adoption of the disastrously costly and probably unworkable “Star Wars” missile defense system. Overall, in keeping with Heritage’s proclaimed goals, which include “a strong national defense,” the Reagan administration channeled funds to the weapons industries at the expense of social services. Continue reading

Blaming U.P.

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The University of the Philippines is in the middle of choosing its next president. If you’re the kind of newspaper reader who reads everything from the op-ed pages to the lifestyles sections, you might have noticed those “column feeds” and “personality sketches” extolling one of the women candidates that have suddenly materialized in the pages of certain Manila broadsheets.

The subject is a UP professor who’s also a media personality. She once ran for senator but lost, and for this “campaign” she’s also using her media connections to the fullest. Continue reading