accident. n., Airstrike in Afghanistan by NATO/ISAF forces usually killing scores of men, women and children.
airstrike. n., See accident.
alleviate. v. tr., Often used by the UN secretary-general. Usually sandwiched between “aim to” and “poverty”.
answer. n., Something said or done in reaction to question from anchor, often interjected or cut-off before point is made.
authentic. adj., Youtube video and/or blog or Facebook update from activist in restive country. For immediate broadcast.
My personal favourites:
accountability.n. The thing our leaders demand of the bad guys.
Arabic. n. Language heard during news report’s first five seconds of natural sound, usually shouted by bearded men in a fiery collective exclamation of ALLAHU-AKBAR, followed by loud blast, then reporter’s voice and the rest of the news report follows. Recently heard in Benghazi.
There’s nothing I love better than a little current events snark to go with my morning coffee.
This one got my attention:
Not newsworthy. See dead.
The definition encapsulates the mindset of the average journalist when confronted with tips or reports of incidents. It is a mindset which is also shared by the news desk editors, and even some producers, when evaluating whether a story is worth the airtime in TV or radio; or the space in the website or paper.
On any given night or day, whenever an incident is reported in the newsroom, or heard over the emergency scanners, more often than not, the determining question for the average person in the news organization whether it should be given coverage or not would be: May patay? Ilan? (Any deaths? How many?)
Yes sports fans, one can get this callous in the profession. And the transformation of one person into this character is seldom discussed in the profession or in the schools. Of course, why would anyone do that? Why would anyone want to take away from the youth, the thoughts of glamour and prestige one gets to have in being a journalist?
“Our youth should not devote themselves to love or to the static speculative sciences as do the youth of fortunate nations. All of us have to sacrifice something on the altar of politics though we might not wish to do so. That is understood by our friends who publish our newspaper in Madrid. They are creole young men of Spanish descent, Chinese half-breeds, and Malayans; but we call ourselves only Filipinos. Almost all of us have been educated by the Jesuits, who certainly did not inculcate in us love of country, but they taught us the beautiful and the best!”—Jose Rizal, letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt, 13 April 1887 (via philippinestudiesgroup)
Hate only creates monsters; crime, criminals; only love can work wonders, only virtue redeem. If our country is one day to be free, it will not be through vice and crime, it will not be through the corruption of its sons, some deceived, others bribed; redemption presupposed virtue; virtue, sacrifice; and sacrifice, love.
Jose Rizal, El Filibusterismo, 1891.
That Rizal has Padre Florentino speak these words to a dying Simoun only underlines their importance; their power within his framework of Filipinas and her future. In essence, he is both challenging Filipinos to see a new way towards inner and outer redemption. While at the same time tweaking the nose of the Catholic hierarchy; reminding them that their role in this world is not to be purveyors of political favor and material wealth. They are supposed to be loving guides and virtuous friends (by their own advocacy). Not the corrupters of man, the curriers of favors, the arbiters of secular power.
Almost one hundred years later, Martin Luther King Jr, a man whom we always equate with the idea of peaceful and loving resistance, echoed these exact same sentiments. Rizal saw and articulated that powerful idea publicly in the 19th century. He was a trailblazer in popular revolution.
Yet, because in popular consciousness we rarely consider the works of Rizal in a revolutionary context, or really in context of his entire catalogue, we don’t understand the sheer redemptive power of the path he was advocating. Instead we trace this wayward misreading of Rizal to erroneous and highly flawed conclusions; one in service of political ideologies and private agendas.
The truth when it comes to Rizal and the positions that he espouses is far more revolutionary than blood and war. It’s the path of enlightenment and openness; love and redemption; faith in man and each other. His call to change remains so much more powerful than toppling governments and changing tyrants. And eminently more difficult to achieve, but so much more profound and important.
And to add to what has been couched finely in words by @iwriteasiwrite on Rizal, I think, the only way we can at least understand what Rizal would have wanted for the country and the for the people is if we go back to his works - the Noli and the Fili, his poems, articles and even his letters to friends and family (yes you can find those online too!).
If one tries to go into some of Rizal’s works, you will find that the ideas on self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and mutual cooperation - the very same ideas which were later espoused by Gandhi in the Swaraj for India, were illustrated and proposed decades before the Mahatma showed the world what active non-violence is all about. In fact, that was what the La Liga Filipina was all about. If those ideas are not revolutionary in the age of imperialism, I don’t know what is.
The problem with most of us Filipinos though is we tend to look for Rizal far from where he is. We try to understand him through the critiques of some progressive historians, the words of our professors, and the books about his girlfriends. Why not go to the man himself?
Maybe, if we go directly to Rizal instead of beating the bush around him, we would able to appreciate him more and understand why he was idolized by Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Del Pilar, and most of those who came later and offered their limbs and lives in the altar of liberty. Maybe we will truly see Rizal as how our country’s founding fathers did.
While everyone's attention is on the Vancouver riots, here's what happened elsewhere...
A demonstrator runs from riot police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures June 15, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece’s largest labor unions have called for a 24-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Getty Images)
Azerbaijan security forces detained 43 people on Friday after anti-government activists used social media to call for street protests in the oil-producing Muslim state, inspired by the Arab uprisings. (Reuters)
Unrest in Guangdong, southern China, over the weekend. More disturbances were reported in Zhejiang on Wednesday. (Reuters TV/Reuters)
Chinese security forces mobilised to suppress protests in eastern China, a monitoring group and eyewitnesses said on Thursday, in the latest bout of unrest gripping parts of the country.
The unrest in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, broke out on Tuesday after the head of a local village government confronted petrol station staff during talks over land compensation fees that the station’s owner was due to pay villagers, the reports said.
To read more about what is happening in these three countries, do click on the photos above or the the links provided.
This round-up still does not include protests in Syria, Yemen, and Spain. And then you also have those protest movements which attempted to express their sympathies but have been silenced.
With these events happening elsewhere in the world. Maybe, as @superboinkwas telling me earlier, the youthful Canucks fans were just looking for an excuse to have their own “cause.” And it was the team’s demise which gave those youth a reason to replicate what they only saw in the news.
“The tumultuous populace of large cities are ever to be dreaded. Their indiscriminate violence prostrates for the time all public authority, and its consequences are sometimes extensive and terrible.”—George Washington, Letter to Marquis de Lafayette, July 28, 1791
In the aftermath of the devastating March tsunami, Japan’s underworld made a rare display of philanthropy, handing out emergency supplies to survivors, sometimes days before aid agencies arrived.
Three months later, however, the yakuza appears to have dispensed with largesse and is instead hoping to cash in on the daunting clean-up effort in dozens of ruined towns and villages.
The government and police fear they are losing the battle to prevent crime syndicates from winning lucrative contracts to remove millions of tonnes of debris left in the tsunami’s wake, including contaminated rubble near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that many firms are reluctant to handle.
The disaster created almost 24m tonnes of debris in the three hardest-hit prefectures, Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate, according to the environment ministry. So far, just over 5m tonnes – or 22% – has been removed.
Those lining up to profit from the clearance operation, which is expected to take three years, include homegrown gangs and Chinese crime syndicates, according to the June edition of Sentaku, a respected political and economic affairs magazine.
Foreign Affairs publishes articles by today’s leaders and thinkers that tackle the most pressing issues in international relations. We want to give tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to demonstrate innovative thinking on the issues that shape their world. In the second annual Foreign Affairs Essay Contest, a panel from the Foreign Affairs editorial staff will select one undergraduate’s essay to be published on the Foreign Affairs Web site. The winner will also receive a prize of $1,000, and five honorable mentions will receive a free year-long subscription to Foreign Affairs.
The deadline to submit has been extended to August 1, 2011. Please submit essays to FAEssay@cfr.org.
ESSAY TOPIC Is the decline of the West inevitable?
WRITING GUIDELINES Submissions should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words. All quotations or uncommon facts should be appropriately cited. Entries must be original, unpublished work written by contestants themselves.
ELIGIBILITY Open to all undergraduate students of accredited colleges and universities graduating no earlier than May 2011.
It would seem that our next-door neighbor is more agitated than we are. I hope their sense of nationalism does not blind them from their country’s actual capability in comparison to the People’s Republic. China may not have the most modern armed forces, but it certainly has the biggest and Vietnam is just across the border.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda called on all Filipinos yesterday to unite and boycott China-made products in response to Beijing’s bullying of the Philippines in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“The ordinary people of the Philippines will rise to the challenge of duty and destiny to resolve our national predicament: Let us boycott made in China products, buy Filipino. Let us hurt them where it counts,” Salceda, an economist and close political ally of President Aquino, said in a strongly worded speech delivered in front of the Albay provincial capitol in commemoration of the Philippines’ 113th Independence Day yesterday.
“Rightly or wrongly, military provocation is not an option as national response, whether tactical or strategic, to the naked belligerence of foreign powers in the West Philippine Sea – not only threatening our national sovereign territory but also bringing shame to our dignity as a race and as a nation,” he said, reacting to reports on the repeated intrusions and harassments of Chinese military vessels and aircraft on Philippine vessels in the country’s territory.
“We also protect our children and communities from the pervasive and persistent risks of various types of contamination and poor quality of their products,” he added.
I am not one of the People’s Republic’s avid supporters from this chain of islands floating in the South China Sea, but hearing someone urge my fellow Filipino citizens to boycott products from what some economists have called as “the world’s factory,” is tantamount to saying that we do away with all the plastic ware that we use in our homes and offices; the safety pins, tacks, and nails that we take for granted in our daily lives; including the zippers, buttons, and some of the materials in our our bags, shoes, and clothes.
I have the highest respect for Governor Salceda since he is one of the better politicians in this country, particularly when it comes to being truthful about the country’s economic conditions and the state of its preparedness against natural disasters. He has done a wonderful job in terms of disaster preparedness and risk reduction an mitigation in one of the country’s disaster-prone areas. But probably the good governor has not heard of the old joke which goes: “God created the world, but everything else is made in China.”
I have a feeling that the good governor was inspired by Gandhi’s Khadi Movement, where the Mahatma advocated the boycott of British cloth - which was sold to Indians at exorbitant prices, despite its raw material, being cotton, coming from India. The Khadi was one aspect of Gandhi’s movement for Swaraj or self-rule, which emphasized self-sufficiency. Eventually, the movement would be symbolized by the charkha, where Indians would spin their own cloth right in their homes. The charkha would later on become a symbol of self-sufficiency and adopted in the flag of the Swaraj movement.
But that was India. In the Philippines, I don’t think we are prepared to launch a massive campaign against economic products coming from what one University of the Philippines professor called as “the poster boy of globalization.” We cannot just dismiss Chinese products in the same way Gandhi did with British products.
What needs to be done to re-think our position in the South China Sea in terms of economics, politics, and security.
We cannot just embark on an economic expedition against a huge state-capitalist nation (yes they are not communist), and not be mindful of its effects on our economy. We cannot just engage the People’s Republic (which denies the people of human rights), without thinking about the impacts it will have in our stature in the region. We cannot just spew out big words when our military is just a handful (compared to the People’s Liberation Army) and lack the capability to make our presence felt in the disputed Spratlys area.
Only after we have re-evaluated our stature in these matters can the country proceed to deal with China’s menacing actions near Palawan.
“Es la hora, amor mío, de apartar esta rosa sombría,
cerrar las estrellas, enterrar la ceniza en la tierra:
y, en la insurrección de la luz, despertar con los que despertaron
o seguir en el sueño alcanzando la otra orilla del mar que no tiene otra orilla.”—
“Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.
But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?
Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.
I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.
Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.”—Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (via mohandasgandhi)
In the meantime, while the Filipino people may not have sufficient energy to proclaim, with head high and chest bared, their rights to social life, and to guarantee with their sacrifice, with their own blood; while we see our own countrymen in private life feeling shame within themselves, to hear roaring the voice of conscience which rebeles and protests, and in public life kept silent, to make a chorus with him who abuses to mock the abused; while we see them enclosed in their own selfishness, praising the most iniquitous deeds with forced smiles, begging with their eyes for a portion of the booty, why give them freedom? - Jose Rizal, El Filibusterismo
These words may have been written more than a hundred years ago, but they speak the truth, even up to now. If then Rizal was criticizing the co-opting nature of some Filipinos with the Spaniards in oppressing even their own kind, now the criticism is directed upon us Filipinos, who turn a blind eye against the injustices we see before us committed by Filipinos in power and influence, against other Filipinos.
Much of this day will be filled with self-congratulatory talk of the accomplishments of contemporary sportsmen, artists, and government officials. And the praises would liken the efforts of these so called icons of the country with the accomplishments of the men and women who sacrificed their lives on the alter of freedom to transform into reality, an abstract concept known as a free and independent Philippines.
But what is freedom? What is independence?
Independence as most would say, is when one has the ability to decide for one’s own. It is having control over one’s possesions, living space, and welfare. Most would say that independence is synonymous with freedom. It is, to some extent. They are similar in the sense that both words mean control over one’s affairs. But they vary in the actual manifestation of their characteristics. Independence refers more to the state of a being in relation to other beings. When one is considered as a separate and functional entity in a community, accorded with rights and duties as a significant member of that community, then one is considered as a whole separate entity apart from the others. That entity is independent. However, it should not be automatically assumed that when one is independent, one is already free.
For several times in our history, our forebears have stood against foreigners - Spanish, Portuguese, British, Dutch, Americans, and Japanese - all for the sake of freedom. Independence only came into the consciousness of our people when the ilustrados introduced the idea of forming a nation of our own. But in the course of events, the bloody struggles of our people, ended with the country’s subjugation. And independence, unlike that of most fo the colonized nations, was served to our leaders in a silver platter by our colonizers. Few may have foreseen it back then, but the effect of this “hand-me-down” independence-experience has been the lack of our people’s appreciation for the freedom that came with the legal separation from the colonizer. It is this “gifting” of independence which has caused some lingering ambivalent feelings of our people towards our former colonizer. We have become independent but not necessariliy free from our old masters.
Freedom, as most of us understand is the capability to do as one wishes. To be able to make choices. That, is the usual understanding of the term freedom. Freedom, the way I see it, is a state of being. What most of us fail to understand though that freedom by itself is not absolute. Unless if one confines himself to a mountain and avoid contact with other humans, then he or she may exercise absolute freedom. But being that most of us are in the midst of other individuals who also exercise their freedom, it is necessary that our utilization of these freedoms be limited to degrees which do not pose harm upon our fellowmen and our natural environment. And so freedom needs to be exercised with a sense of responsibility towards other living beings, humans and non-human - this is where most of us fail.
After more than a hundred years of experimentation with concepts of freedom, we Filipinos have yet to grasp its meaning and responsibly practice its various forms. Most of us still think that freedom, as expressed through our democratic rights, are a license to cause injury or insult to our fellowmen. We fail to see that once we exercise our freedom to the extreme, we actually deprive others of their own freedoms, and reduce ourselves to being oppressors.
With freedom always comes responsibility. The responsibility to properly exercise that freedom. The responsibility to preserve that freedom for ourselves and others. The responsibility to protect that freedom once it is endangered. And the responsibility to promote that freedom to those who have yet to exercise them or have been deprived of them by others. Failing to responsibly exercise our freedom and bearing the responsibility demanded by it will result to exploitation, oppression, and the mockery of the supposed freedom that was paid for in blood and lives of those who gone before us.
Until we realize and accept that independence necessitates asserting one’s self and freedom requires obligation, we will never prosper as individuals, as a community, as a nation. If we desire to have a functioning government, a better society, and a working democracy, then we must be willing to accept the duties required by such ambitions. We must be willing to own up to the demands of our independence. We must own up to the responsibilities of our freedom. Failing that, we will lose both, eventually.
Nong Rene upon entering a portion of the land they have struggled for in Sumilao, Bukidnon.
Duha ka tuig na ang milabay human ka walay kaluoy nga gipusil sa wala pa gihapon mailhan hangtud karon nga mga tao.
Sa kangitngit sa dalan ila kang giatngan human ka mibisita sa imong mga kauban. Kalit ka nila gipabuthan ug sa kakurat dali kang naigo ug natumba. Sa pipila ka gutlong nabilin sa imong kinabuhi, imbis nga musibat, ang imo pang gihimo mao ang pagpanalipud sa imong mga kauban.
Makasubo huna-hunaon nga wala na ta nagkita una pa man nakabsan ka sa kinabuhi. Subong hunahunaon nga wala na ta nagkahisgutay bahin sa atong mga gipanghimo human sa Sumilao March.
Nagbasol ako nganong wala ko mitungha sa bunyag sa imo apo. Unta, nagkita pa ta didto una ka gikuha gikan sa amo, imong mga higala.
Damgo nako kaniadto, nga sa subling magkita ta, dala na nako ang akong mga anak. Ug ako silang ipaila-ila kanimo.
Nanghinaut pa ako nga matun-an nila gikan kanimo, ang dakong pangihanglanon sa katilingban sa mga mag-uuma. Dako ang akong pagtuo nga daghan untay natun-an ang akong mga anak, ug ang uban pang mga bata gikan kanimo.
Nong Rene’s coffin being loaded unto a hearse (via Wutda)
Katingad-an pa gihapon sa ako hangtud karon kung nganong kinahanglan pa ka ipapatay sa pipila ka mga tao nga unta naa man sa lugar sa gahum ug salapi. Ngano kahang nahadlok man kanimo ning mga adunahan ug gamhanan?
Ang imong pagkamatay Nong Rene nagpakita nga ang gahum sa sulti ug malinawong lihok alang sa kabag-uhan sa yutang gatamnan ug katilingban - gakahadlokan sa mga gamhanan ug adunahan.
Suma sa imong pagbiya, pipila na ka mga mag-uuma ang nakab-ot ang ilang yutang gipakigbisog. Apan aduna pa gihapoy gidaug-daug, gipahimuslan, ug giilad sa mga adunahan ug anaa sa gahum.
Bisan pa man ug wala pa gihapoy nanubag sa pagpatay kanimo akong higala, dili kana gapasabot nga amo na kang nalimtan. Dili ka namo malimtan Nong Rene!
Ang imong kinabuhi ug kamatayon, magsilbing usa ka hagit kanamo, imong mga higala, sa pagpadayon sa imong pakigbisog!
“Wherever your life ends, it is all there. The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.”—Michel de Montaigne
Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
Something which should serve as a constant reminder.