Monday, March 27, 2017

Trump a ‘bulls**t artist’

That’s a direct quote from Fareed Zakaria: Trump ‘indifferent to things that are true or false, CNN, 19th Mar 2017.

But not only . . . “2 Months In, Trump May Already Own A First: Most Corrupt POTUS. Ever,” S.V. Date, Huffington Post, 20th Mar 2017.

“He has spent his whole life bulls**tting. He has succeeded by bulls**tting. He has gotten the presidency by bulls**tting. It’s very hard to tell somebody at that point that bulls**t doesn't work. Because look at the results. He sees something, he doesn't particularly care if it's true or not, he just put it out there.” [Zakaria, op. cit.]

“For two months now, Americans have not had to imagine any of this. They have been living it. As President Donald Trump enters his third month in office, he has already established at least one record, however dubious: the president most open and willing to use the prestige of the White House to enrich himself and his family.

‘He should not use his official position to promote his businesses. That doesn’t make him a good businessman. That makes him a bad president,’ said Richard Painter, the former top ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush’s White House.

“Trump’s behavior has no precedent, going back to at least the turn of the last century, ethics experts say. Even in the presidency most often associated with open corruption, it was Warren Harding’s Interior secretary, not Harding himself, who had taken bribes in the Teapot Dome oil lease scandal.

“This pay-to-play game has got to stop. He’s president of the United States. It’s corruption of government.” [Date, op. cit.]

What do we get from all that? That the West can shoot itself in the foot! Yet we are cowed – and feel inferior – we had to kick the Americans out of Clark and Subic? See how the Germans think –  because island mentality is alien to them?

Largest deployment of U.S. troops since Cold War arrives in Germany,” Eric DuVall, UPI, 7th Jan 2017. “The largest armed U.S. military brigade to be deployed to Europe since the end of the Cold War arrived Saturday at a port in northern Germany, military officials said.

“The U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division arrived in the port of Bremerhaven on Friday and began a days-long process of deploying heavy equipment including tanks and armored vehicles. The deployment is the culmination of a promised heavier armed troop presence in eastern Europe since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“The move was meant to reassure nervous NATO allies the United States was prepared to respond in the event of further Russian aggression in the region.”

On the other hand, “Philippines prepares protest vs China over Panatag,” Edu Punay, The Philippine Star, 22nd Mar 2017. “Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the administration’s planned course of action was in accordance with Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s suggestion that a strong formal protest against Beijing be filed with the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague.”

Imagine how straightforward a wealthy nation like Germany deals with issues like this while we had to jump through hoops . . . and will jump through more? And, not surprisingly, we’re again in an untenable position?

In other words, we pursued freedom from the US (and the US military) in the belief that we must run the country the Filipino way – even like hell. Doesn’t Germany run their country the German way despite the presence of 34,805 US military personnel in their country?

Are we (a) self-esteem challenged or (b) do we have to overcome an inferiority complex?

Indeed, we must be friends and peers with other nations. And the more we get our act together the more and the greater the respect we get. Singapore is a teeny tiny city-state but no major nation would dare mess around with them. Love begets love. If we get the drift . . . Humanity goes with winners, not losers!

And that is why the blog brings up . . . what . . . and . . . who . . . we are. We can’t be like American kids, the ones that want independence even when they still need their parents. In other words, we must grow up. “Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it,” says Rizal.

And when we see how the West can fall flat on its face, it should in fact give us the confidence that Juan de la Cruz holds his own future, no one else. And that is why the blog raises “imagination and visualization.” We must imagine and visualize that we are the next Singapore or Asian Tiger.

We must internalize what benchmarking is and is not. It is to pick and choose best practices of others, not to make ourselves feel good by pointing at their shortcomings. Perfection is not of this world. Our accountant can tell us what net worth means. No one has only assets and no liabilities.

Is PH underdevelopment but a reflection of reality? It’s time we grow up, be better than the West and not be cowed and feel inferior. And we can start by tossing our instincts of hierarchy and paternalism – because it is why tyranny is us!

“Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it.” [We are ruled by Rizal’s ‘tyrants of tomorrow,’ Editorial, The Manila Times, 29th Dec 2015]

“As a major component for the education and reorientation of our people, mainstream media – their reporters, writers, photographers, columnists and editors – have an obligation to this country . . .” [Era of documented irrelevance: Mainstream media, critics and protesters, Homobono A. Adaza, The Manila Times, 25th Nov 2015]

“National prosperity is created, not inherited. It does not grow out of a country’s natural endowments, its labor pool, its interest rates, or its currency’s value, as classical economics insists . . . A nation’s competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate and upgrade.” [The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business Review, March–April 1990]

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” [William Pollard, 1911-1989, physicist-priest, Manhattan Project]

“Development [is informed by a people’s] worldview, cognitive capacity, values, moral development, self-identity, spirituality, and leadership . . .” [Frederic Laloux, Reinventing organizations, Nelson Parker, 2014]

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