Black is the New White… Is White the New Black?

Barack Hussein Obama is the new President of the United States of America.  He is the first African-American President in the nation’s 232 year history.  More than anything else, the election of an African-American to the highest office — not only in the United States but in the World — signals a New Era in the Global Equation of Power.

Many are jubilant, and yet many are alarmed.

I don’t understand why.

Someone please explain.

When I was young in the 1970s, the United States of America was undisputably the greatest country in the world.  The USSR The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , PROC The People’s Republic of China, and India were mere backwashes.  Now in the 2000s, it is already plainly obvious that the United States of America is going to lose its preeminence in worldwide affairs because of the unwise ways it has handled its national and international affairs.  With the decline of the United States comes the danger to the [ relative ] security of The Free World.  I have no doubt that in the near future, China, Russia, and even India will flex their awesome military powers in the arena of global political affairs.

All I know is that millions and millions and millions of people worldwide — myself included — are relieved that George “Dubya” W. Bush is finally out of the picture.  Or so we think.

Someone please explain.

Will Barack Hussein Obama be able to reverse the Tide of American Decadence???

Advertisements

60 Comments

  1. Presy Guevara said,

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    There are now in publication several books portraying how early Filipinos were discriminated against in the USA. There are powerful pictures documenting the inequality, such as signs disallowing entry or usage of certain facilities. Cartoons depicted Filipinos as savages from the hinterlands in black skin and plumed headgear. Filipinos have fought side by side with Americans during WW II. There are also books that bring to light Filipino contributions to the progress if the United States. It was only on the the third wave of migration that Filipinos were treated with respect, when they started to fill in the professional positions vacated during the Vietnam War. I hope not only Nomad would read those books but all Filipinos as well. Generalizations deepen prejudice. Education and understanding will greatly help in avoiding hurt feelings

  2. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 21, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    G.I.
    Don’t get upset – the reporter made a mistake. Do you know how many OFW and seamen work on their ships? One little, tiny example is if you look up the yacht, which can be chartered for quite a lot, albeit rather small MY “Oh Que Luna.” With the exception of the captain, the sailors and staff are Pinoy OFW’s.
    Those Greeks are nowhere near as generous or extravagant as one might think. The larger and more recent the fortune, except Latsis, the more tight-fisted they are, but they’re kind to their staff.

  3. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 21, 2008 at 6:40 am

    ISLP, I merely reported what I heard on the news; I really don’t care one way or another whether those shipowners make, loss money or break even. I have my own probs to worry about. But OK, you’re on for next year.

    G.I.

  4. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Gargantuan Garganta,
    “Caliente, caliente” again. I’ll tell you when we have tea at the Majestic.
    As for the Greeks; I can assure you that, at least, one of them are part of my inner circle of friends, and they’re NOT leasing their tankers at $7K a day.
    Sorry to rain on your parade!

  5. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Just heard on the business news tonight — to show how bad global trade has really become: before the downturn, the mighty Greek shipowners (the Latsis, the Vardinoyannis, Lemos, Pateras, Onassis’, Livanos’, Niarchos’, Goulandris’, etc.) were leasing their tankers and freighters for $150,000 a day!! Today, they’re only going for — hold your breath — $7K a day. I guess you won’t be seeing too many of those at the Plaza Athenee or the Dorchester or the Waldorf for awhile.

    BTW, it turns out that 5 of those top families banded together after Paris Latsis dated the ditzy Paris Hilton that they would disallow Ms. Hilton from marrying into their families I wonder if Paris H. could take them to court for ‘collusion.’ Any such similar collusion among Manila’s creme de la creme vs. a particular personality? At sino sa Manila ang bankarote na?

    ISLP, then you must be Spanish or South American.

  6. November 19, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    First visit here! I have a pretty similar post, only about the Chinese who were treated like blacks in South Africa. Thus, Chinese is the New Black relates to that country.

  7. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    L*ding,

    I take it very seriously and feel very sorry for Em*ly and Albert*to. Please read very carefully what I said.

    On no account can I accept what has been said on the web about their daughter or any lady, but I also realize that a lot of pain has been felt on all sides. I’m just trying to be very fair and neutral but indeed, it’s a drama in Philippine society.

  8. l*ding said,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

    isla,

    i’m shocked that you take that seriously. i thought it was all some joke between some foreigners and some young socialites. em*ly is crying deep inside with those stories of her daughter. i feel for her. anyways her only consolation is watching movies in rockwell wearing her gigantic 10 carat diamond earrings with her dying husband in tow and 2 bodyguards. have you seen albert*to lately? i pity him. he is so thin now. all the medicines and vitamins plus some oxygen booster won’t help him prolong his life. i feel for him as well. he was the “padre de familia” of the fernando side after their father died. he once said to us in one party: “you may have all the money in the world but if you’re not careful with your spending you may end up with nothing.” of course, he was referring to his extravagant brother junjie who treated money like candy to be given to any person he fancied. after the death of fernando, the children spent their inheritance like crazy, like there’s no tomorrow. the reason was when fernando was alive, their spending was tightly controlled. em*ly remains to be one of the effervescent personalities of manila to date. i love the woman.

  9. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 19, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Periphery,
    Thank you very much for your comments. They’re very useful to me within the scope of a business plan I’m putting together, and so are Zippo’s. Thanks guys!
    G.I.
    You’re getting “caliente, caliente” everytime but I’m not Mexican. Only Toto knows where I’m from.
    Now, in all my mischief à la Truman Capote: why do you think I suggested the translation “Little Miss Sunshine”? And I swear I don’t speak Tagalog but do recognise a few official words like Ang Pangulo.

  10. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 18, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Brian,
    At the height of your notoriety I keenly read your blog and although I fully agree that what you went through was terrible beyond anyone’s comprehension and, believe me, I’ve been taken for a similar ride too, I think you made a very big mistake by dragging the names of ladies into the affair, whatever they do in private, and some foreign man unrelated to your quest who at one point dated one of them. That, by any standards, is not the hallmark of a gentleman.

    Otherwise I think you come across as a very gentle and kind man who shares with me a passion for animals and I have yet to come across someone who loves nature and animals the way you do who isn’t a good person.

    It’s because I don’t want to hurt your feelings that I’m being so forthright now in the only public blog I participate in.

    Best regards,

    Isla

  11. San Andreas said,

    November 18, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Are you the famous Brian Gorell ex lover of Dj Montano? who cleaned up your life time savings!!!! WELCOME DEAREST!!!

  12. periphery said,

    November 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I travel a lot for work, so I rack up bajillions of frequent flyer miles. Work-related travel WAS typically business class (international) or first class (domestic US). But now due to the recession our company just told everyone that we are to fly coach ONLY… from the executives all the way down to the worker bees. Of course, it doesn’t affect the CEO because he flies on the corporate jet. Ugh.

    Anyway, for personal travel, I fly business class on international flights. For domestic flights, I fly coach unless it’s a coast-to-coast flight. Because I have so many frequent flyer miles, I usually just buy a coach ticket and use my miles to upgrade. I NEVER use my miles to get a free coach ticket. A coach ticket from SFO-JFK costs ~$600, while a business class ticket costs over two grand. So you get more bang for your miles if you use ’em to upgrade.

    As for trash reading material, I don’t give a shit. I read what I want to read without trying to cover it up. Trash novel in hand, iPod in my pocket, noise-cancelling headphones on my ears. Shut out the world totally. It’s a good thing.

  13. periphery said,

    November 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    ISLP:

    I’m not really sure what the best translation of “bansot” is, but anyway the closest translation I could think of is “The Midget President”.

  14. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    ISLP,

    1. I was thinking more monster-size (a la Godzilla and Mothra) 🙂 when she calls me ‘Gargantua.’ Ya know, size MATTERS!! But I don’t mind.

    2. Unless somebody else beats me to it: “Pangulong Bansot” means — to be kind, Diminutive President. To be unkind, the Midget President. (“Pangulo” is “president.”)

    3. BTW, if you are non-Filipino, what are you? Mexican? I think you alluded to Vera Cruz or Acapulco in some other post?

    Zip, I’ve never disguised a book I’m reading…not unless it’s pornographic material. Then I at least try to be discreet about it. You never know … someone might be looking over my shoulder and hitting me with her umbrella in disaproval … or possibly secretly liking it. 🙂

    GI

  15. November 18, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    I’m very much a gentleman.
    Ask my mom.

  16. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 18, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Periphery,

    Not being Filipino, does “Ang Pangulong Bansot” mean Little Miss Sunshine?

  17. zippo said,

    November 18, 2008 at 10:35 am

    ISLP,

    If a trip is less than 3 hours (like Hong Kong) and I’m paying for my ticket, I only take coach — what’s 2-and-a-half hours on a cramped seat? I’d rather spend the money I saved on a good meal at Fook Lam Moon (anyway, I’m both a Mabuhay Club and Marco Polo Club member so even if I’m travelling coach, I can still use the PAL or Cathay Lounges).

    If it’s a trip to the US or to Europe and I’m paying for my airfare, I take Business Class (I need my sleep and I can’t have any with limited leg room). I did try the Deluxe Economy on EVA Air once (that’s the class below Business but above the regular Coach) and it was good although it’s usually PAL and Cathay for me.

    If it’s a business trip (which clients pay for), I always take 1st Class wherever I travel (it’s stipulated in my Retainer Contracts).

    GI,

    I read that tidbit a few years back. This is so embarrassing, but it was in Kitty Kelley’s “The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty” (OK, OK, a person should be allowed to read trash once in a while. I mean, it would be boring, not to mention mentally taxing, if one read Dostoevsky, Joyce, Kafka, or Hemingway everyday!). By the way, I just have to ask everyone here, when you read trash in public (like in a plane), do you get the cover of a more respectable book to hide the trashy novel you’re actually reading? I plead GUILTY hahahahaha.

    Z 🙂

  18. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 17, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Just an aside, even if I digress… I love it when L*ding calls G.I. Gargantua. It sounds so Roman!

  19. periphery said,

    November 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    GI:

    Ang Pangulong Bansot has already started trying. There was an article in the Inquirer saying that she called Obama on election night, after he had been declared the victor. He declined to take her call because he was (obviously) too busy. 🙂

  20. l*ding said,

    November 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    talking about investments, it seems d*nding is not affected by the world financial crisis. i heard from some comadres he is now the second biggest owner of meralco after the lopezes. so his next buy will be abs-cbn? in time for the 2010 election? will gab*y sell abs? i doubt it. but at least d*nding saved the day for the lopezes instead of having gsis wrestle control of the company. look at gr*tchen o., she’s so quiet and dignified but her family’s holdings are increasing like the trees in hacienda b*lbina.

  21. l*ding said,

    November 17, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    periphery,

    ask a*en, her brother-in-law used to own the plaza where “home alone 2” was shot. he sold it but still retained the dorchester hotel in london, plaza athenee in paris, hotel meurice, and the beverly hills hotel. give it to this benevolent sultan. he has good taste in terms of acquiring expensive and classy hotels. with investments like that i’m sure it won’t fail. his younger brother owns the new york palace hotel.

  22. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 17, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Zip,

    Hmmm. Interesting skeleton in the Bush closet. Never knew that. Tried Googling that Bush. Nothing turns up on this JSB; but a lot on the previous James Smith Bush.

    I wonder whether GMA will try to connect with the new US admin and when. Who is the host of next year’s Pacific Rim summit?

    GI

  23. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 17, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Hola L*ding and Zippo,
    Are you too noticing that now, with the crisis, we’re not even looking at Business Class tickets between Hong Kong and Manila anymore, just good old Economy?
    I just think in internal Filipino flights it makes sense to fly Business in order to avoid the stampede at Ninoy Aquino.

  24. periphery said,

    November 17, 2008 at 5:57 am

    I remember those skybeds in PAL first class. Yes, I think PAL was indeed the first, or at least among the first. Well, just like so many good things with PAL, it didn’t last. Anyway, those skybeds of old don’t compare favorably to the newer lie-flat seats in other airlines’ international first and business classes.

    Nowadays, PAL doesn’t even have first class anymore, right? Anyway, these days PAL is complete and utter crap. Crap-o-la crap crap crap. Even the much-maligned US-flagged carriers do a better job than PAL does on intercontinental runs. The only thing better about PAL is the cabin crew… pretty young things, in contrast to the fat, bitter old crones in the US airlines.

    Liding, the Plaza has been open again for a while now. It’s a hybrid now… half hotel, half apartment building. And no, it wasn’t owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Mid 20th century the hotel was owned by Conrad Hilton, who sold it to the Westin Hotel Group, which sold it to Donald Trump, who ceded it to Ivana as part of their divorce settlement, who sold it to a nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia. Now it’s owned by a joint venture of an Israeli and a Saudi Arabian company (fancy that).

  25. l*ding said,

    November 17, 2008 at 4:08 am

    isla san luis my dear,

    talking about pal, their business class recently boasts of people’s palace entrees and haagen dazs desserts. 20 years ago, pal revolutionionized air travel with the introduction of their sky bed. if im not mistaken they were the pioneer in that sky bed feauture.

  26. zippo said,

    November 17, 2008 at 3:26 am

    I.S.L.P.,

    Yes, during the glorious days of PAL in the 1970s, it served Chateaubriand and Iranian Caviar to its 1st Class passengers. PAL was the 1st Asian airline which had “sky beds” (Sammy Davis, Jr. was the airline ad spokesman in the U.S.).

    Z 🙂

  27. zippo said,

    November 17, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Speaking of Obama’s “Filipino connections”, I think apart from William Howard Taft who served as Governor General of the Philippines, the Presidents with the closest Filipino connections are the Bushes. George Senior’s uncle, James Smith Bush (brother of Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush — dad of George Senior) actually lived and died in the Philippines. James S. Bush was a respected banker but embezzled money in a huge scandal in the 1950s. He moved to the Philippines where he apparently married a Filipina of “questionable origins” from Culi-Culi (the old red-light district). He died in a Philippine Government hospital in May of 1978 and his body was picked up by his nephew, George Senior who, at that time, had just stepped down as Head of the C.I.A.. No word on what happened to the Filipina wife.

    Z 🙂

  28. l*ding said,

    November 16, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    garganta,

    hijo, the plaza hotel ny used to be owned by the sultan of brunei. then he sold it. it’s now being converted into chichi apartments.

  29. Myles Garcia said,

    November 16, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Talagang T, so that’s what happened to MM pala. However, if her father fought for Philippine independence, what’s she doing serving in the government of the colonizer? I guess “Finishing School” does have its benefits. As if Assumption wasn’t enuf of a ‘finishing school’ in itself.

    Pero wala na iyong mga Clinton — even if Hillary makes Secretary of State — which we shall know in a few days.

    The closest connection to the current GWB WHite House is the Pinay chef. But I hear that is a ‘political’ position so Barack (it sounds so much like ‘darak’) and Michelle will probably bring in a new chef. Margarita?

  30. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Larry,
    I knew you were Oscietra from Petrossian all the way, eaten with madreperla spoons and only in dire need with blinis. Add shots of iced Moskovskaya to heighten the effect and avoid the bad breath produced by Roederer.
    I’m afraid none of this is available in PAL’s Business Class these days, but I did see the other day a PAL menu from the glorious days of the ancien régime. Way to go: they even had Châteaubriand!
    Maraming Salamat!

  31. talagang tsismoso said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    For me our clinton connection is Maria Luisa Mabilangan Haley
    http://www.filipinasmag.com/free_2006Haley.html

    When Maria Luisa Mabilangan-Haley entered the hallowed halls of the White House on the day of President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, she couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the significance of her new position. In the 1920s, her father, Felipe Mabilangan, then a student at Syracuse University, stood before the U.S. Congress to appeal for Philippine independence. Six decades later, his only daughter was appointed Special Assistant to the President of the United States in the Office of Presidential Personnel, in charge of overseeing the appointment of administration officials in the economics, commerce and trade sector. She was the highest-ranking Filipino American in the Clinton White House.

    A year later, Clinton nominated Mabilangan-Haley to the Board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), a post that required Senate approval. In her confirmation hearing, she spoke about her Philippine heritage, the values that define her and how her father, who was Philippine consul general and subsequently ambassador to India, Pakistan, France, Spain and Laos, inspired her to pursue public service. Her testimony easily won her the Senate’s approval and prompted her boss, the president, to write her a personal note saying he “loved” her statements at the hearing and thanked her for “doing such a fine job.”

    At Ex-Im Bank, Mabilangan-Haley was in charge of small business at a time when the bank had the reputation of primarily supporting big business. By 1997, three years after she took office, the bank’s small-business portfolio had grown to 81 percent of its total transactions. Such accomplishment didn’t come as a fluke. Mabilangan-Haley had more than two decades of experience in public service, policy development and business, particularly in international trade and export development on the state and federal levels.

    She began her career as co-founder (with bosom friend Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo) of Karilagan Finishing School in Manila, the first such school in Asia. She then moved on to various managerial positions with the Manila Hilton and, after she married lawyer John Haley and moved with him to Little Rock, Arkansas, she joined Fairfield Communities Inc. and established its resort division. A few years later, she joined the administration of then-Governor Bill Clinton as Director for Communications and Marketing for the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission (AIDC). It was this post that earned her valuable experience and skills in international business and export development, among others, and made her a certified Friend of Bill and Hillary, with whom she maintains a close friendship. After two terms with Ex-Im Bank, she returned to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Presi-dential Personnel until the end of the Clinton administration in 2001.

    Today, Mabilangan-Haley is Senior Director of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a hotshot international consultancy headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former White House Chief of Staff Thomas F. McLarty III. The firm advises U.S. and international corporations on various aspects of international business. Mabilangan-Haley is in charge of Asia-related projects. In the early days of the Arroyo administration, she was also advisor and consultant.

    Not a bad career trajectory for someone who still has to complete her college degree

  32. randy b said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:06 am

    The oil exporters and credit card mills gave each other a good lesson: mixing 12 credit cards per person with artificially high oil prices is suicide. Now the Arabs are lowering oil production to pump up prices. Oh well, places like Dubai are learning to,live with bikinied tourists, meaning Arabs have diversified. 100 years after the invention of the airplane, they now have Arab pilots and who knows, they might someday be able to drill for oil and build infrastructure with at least 40% local brains, brawn and equipment.

  33. larry leviste said,

    November 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Sweet wonderful walang ka PARIS, not Brian’s blog….. on his hit lists are other GOOD blogs. I wish you to click on to VICTORIVNA by brilliant like you AMIEL AGUILAR CABANLIG.
    I speak of the blog called VICTORINA, just sample it. Very intelligent, BAKLA and informative. The comment section alone if HILARIOUS, entertaining. Trust me and read my comments. PLEASE

  34. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Liding, the Hillary Clinton event in LNL’s 5th Ave digs was actually a fundraiser. Didn’t know The Plaza was into the catering business back then (or ever). That seems like pocket-change-business for a billion-dollar operation that changed ownership from Donald Trump to some Arab fund in 2005. I mean I’d understand a site-down or a state dinner, but a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres and OK, chi-chi canapes?

    Actually, it’s Indonesia that will have a connection with the Obama admin more than the Philippines — not unless you can hustle up some Obama connections in Hawaii or Chicago.

  35. l*ding said,

    November 15, 2008 at 11:52 am

    our clinton connection is through loida nicolas lewis. the brilliant lawyer once hosted a cocktail in her fabulous 5th avenue apartment in honor of intelligent hillary clinton. of course the creme dela creme of new york society came and some philippine guests like loren legarda de leviste. it was to die for. new york’s the plaza hotel catered for the event and all were appreciative of how grand loida’s candela’s 5th avenue apartment is. if im not mistaken hillary wore a black pantsuit.

  36. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 15, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Randy B,
    I think you’re right, the Democrats didn’t have in the past the best track record economy-wise but Clinton didn’t do too badly and what we’re witnessing now with Obama’s choices, so far, is astounding.

    I mean, it’s only days before we know if Hillary Clinton will be the new Secretary of State and that alone will create a huge boost of international goodwill towards the United States and she’s very sensitive to emerging economies, in which the Philippines plays, in my opinion, a crucial role in the most important part of the world today for those of us in Marketing; Southeast Asia.

    As far as the Democrats being socialists and creating resentment amongst those who will pay higher taxes, that must be taken with a pinch of salt. Here in Europe when the Socialists get in it really is a trial and more often than not you pay such high taxes that you have the impression you’re left with a commission instead of a salary and it’s doubtful in the USA it’ll ever reach such extremes.

    More than anything, I believe that the world is maturing rapidly away from extreme greed as it did from Communism and towards a more balanced society, but it will only be the next generation or two who’ll start to benefit from the fruit of the trees planted by today’s younger leaders such as Presidents Sarkozy and Obama.

  37. periphery said,

    November 15, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Brian Gorrell’s blog is sometimes interesting, more often not. But I don’t begrudge him one bit for his posts. He’s entirely within his rights to publish his thoughts, just as we all are. I actually like the fact that he has the gumption to point out all the different aspects of Filipino culture that he has observed, both the good AND the bad.

    Anyway, you know what they say about opinions… they’re like assholes – everybody has one.

  38. randy b said,

    November 15, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Obama is proposing increased unemployment benefits and ‘spreading the wealth’ meaning higher taxes for some brackets so these brackets can feed the unemployed. Probably meant as balm for high unemployment due to the Republican-coddled banks’ granting housing loans then issuing a blizzard of credit cards so the shopaholics’ houses can be foreclosed, causing the slowdown. Fair enough after banks whoopee with tax money bailout. Socialism creates resentment among the highly taxed, though.
    So what else can he do to housekeep, because the Phil. economy hangs on the US? It’s said Democrat presidents don’t have a good record economy-wise.

  39. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 14, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Larry, Larry, Larry… Your stay in the US of A sound bountiful indeed but please, to find Brian Gorrell interesting…
    With all due respect to you and to him, his experience in the Philippines is, I’m afraid, one-off and what has he reached? Is it fair to Filipinos in general and to the very fibre of the Philippine modus-vivendi?
    I’m a foreigner, I was and often am a guest of Filipinos, but it wouldn’t cross my mind to interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of the Philippines nor that of Brazil, Argentina or any other country where I have been hosted.
    In the words of my late mentor, David Hicks, son-in-law of Lord Mountbatten of Burma about someone of Mr. Gorrell’s ilk: “Mr Gorrell is a man, not a gentleman.” Having said that, there are witty chronicles that do no harm to Filipino society as a whole but I believe that Mr.Gorrell thinks that single-handedly he can change 350 years of history.
    When we have tea at the Peninsula or Shangri-La, I hope we’ll talk about interesting events in Filipino history which is rich enough.

    Saludos and Bon Voyage,

    Isla

  40. November 13, 2008 at 12:54 am

    No sweet sweet Paris,

    I am wrapping things up in Washington. Tomorrow I’m flying to Reno, Nevada then to San Francisco then to Los Angeles to say goodbye to my 3 sisters there. It was indeed a wonderful six months in the US of A.

    I just turned 50 and my imported sisters who live in Gaum and Sydney and the Mainland treated me to a magical mystery tour to visit their homes and catch up with them and their lovely families. It was indeed a LOONNG extended vacance and they lasvished me with hospitality, good parties, trips to Vegas, New York, New Orleans , San Diego and the re-connection with my 30 or so pamangkins.

    Nevertheless, it’s time to go home and spend Christmas with my parents who are nagging me, I really made SAGAD my ticket and my welcome.

    Now the tide is turning, the trees are bare ready to sunbathe nude in the winter sun. So like the last bird to ache for warmer climes, I am tying loose ends, packing my Christmas presents and will fly back to Manila next week.

    It is a bittersweet good-bye but my doggies and best friends are clamoring for this homecoming queen. I am still reading this brilliant blog but try to check out my ribald albeit more vitriolic posts on Amiel’s VICTORINA blog. It is hilarious. Just log on to Brian Gorell’s Blog and link with VICTORINA where you will see the other side of me commenting on GAY issues and such.

    In fact, I am writing a post for them.

    But until I finish my minute ek eks, I will be sort of invisible. But know that my heart of artichoke hearts will be abreast with all my favorite blogs. I will be in Manila next week.

    I shall have SCANDALOUS foibles and follies to write about I’m sure. Do keep your wits above water. Don’t work so hard. And God bless us, everyone.,

    Oh for your perusal, check Little Britain by BBC ( 3 seasons on U TUBE ) and their new show on HBO Little Britain USA, Also Little Britain Abroad and Little Britain Down Under. It’s these two brilliant actors who play a plethora of female roles. It’ll make you pee in your pants. LOLTIH. Really GOOd.

    Till next time, love, laughter and song.

  41. isagani said,

    November 12, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    gi wrote:

    “Unfortunately, this sense of entitlement is more widespread amongst the children of the ruling/upper classes of the RP, and that creates many deletorious effects and false values.”

    sad to say, but from the few times i ventured into this blog the impression i have gotten is that the above statement is no more accurate than amongst the posters here, and that, my folks, has a tragic effect on the filipino masses who look up to the country’s elite as their model and salvation.

  42. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 12, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Larry,

    Why so quiet – another weekend in Bountiful?

  43. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Jeremiah,

    Re your comment #1 — No, I didn’t forget it. I just didn’t include it because I would be making too many points — but the case with Japan was more dramatic and more so, because the victory over the Nips was more American than the Nazi defeat in Europe where the USSR and Britain and the free forces of the other countries all joined with Uncle Sam in smothering that Austrian psychopath bugger, Hitler. (Also, don’t forget that chicken-sh*t Russia/USSR didn’t declare war on Japan until the day after Hiroshima. **rolls eyes** Obviously, takot sila sa Japon after their humiliating loss in the 1905 Russo-Japanese war. That also only shows you the cowardly mindset of the Russians. But that’s another subject for another day …)

    Comment #2 – I will say no more. Amen.

    We should get together some time…

    G.I.

  44. jeremiah said,

    November 10, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    GI, don’t forget the marshall plan sponsored and financed by america to reshape germany and the whole of europe after hitler ran amok…..

    our brothers and sisters from the ‘hood’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds and is truly breathtaking. they are forgeting that it was his “white”
    side that took the cudgels up for him when the “black” side all but abandoned him. now they are cashing in on the efforts by his “white” folk.

  45. madspartan said,

    November 9, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Two cents (worth maybe even less):

    To paraphrase an Egyptian cabinet minister: “It is like America and the developed world ate all the hors d’oeuvres, all the entrees, and all the desserts and then invited the developing world for a little coffee — and asked us to split the whole bill.”

    Well, the rest of the world now wants its money’s worth and Obama (whose ilk have been within smelling reach of the buffet and probably never got that espresso) has to figure the whole mess out.

    That’s alarming.

  46. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 9, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    L*ding,

    You hit the nail right on the head: America is the ultimate seller of dreams. And I’ll add that indeed, for most people, only in America dreams can come true. If you’d like me to be more philosophical, I think that when someone stops dreaming he/she dies inside and sadly in some societies, and that includes the Philippines and even “super-sophisticated” Spain, many Catholic principles based on self-interest and ingnorance create almost insurmountable obstacles to reach one’s goals in life be they private or professional.

    I’m not going to blindly extoll only the virtues of Europe, which are many, but yes, President-Elect Obama is living proof that the American Dream exists and what he’s achieved is only possible in the United States.

    I’m afraid that hard as it sounds we will continue having to live with the scourge of Hispanic heritage, also so prevalent in Latin America; prejudice and above all envy. At some point I think I recall someone telling me about the “Filipino Crab” – please, someone let me know if it means the same to you as to me: pulling someone down in order for them not to succeed. If that’s the case, then it applies amply to countries with a Hispanic heritage and if you have nothing then the only place that will judge you on your own merits is the USA, although I will give, in Europe, kudos to two very advanced societies: France and England who in turn have now emulated the best aspects of American society.

    If the American Eagle is to soar again in all its glory, however, President-Elect Obama will have to surround himself with the finest advisors in the country and come up with another “New Deal” , in financial and foreign policy terms, that will, in at most two terms, turn the tide. If not, then we should, all of us, start dusting our grandmother’s Blessed rosary-beads.

  47. Joey said,

    November 9, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    “yet many are alarmed”

    Count me as one of the alarmed ones. As a person who lives in Chicago, Illinois, I have yet to witness the “change” Obama harps on about. The man could have helped out bring change in municipal , county (especially the truly corrupt Cook County level administration), and statewide level, but through his actions, has continually sided with the status quo. He may talk incessantly about change, but his actions state a different thing

    Obama is not cut above from a typical Chicago or Illinois pol. The standard of which is not high in the first place. The previous governor failed that test and is spending time in prison while the current governor may follow him there in a couple of years.

    Some posters have brought up minorities with “issues of entitlement”. I won’t touch that, but I’m glad that my fellow Filipinos ( and Asians in genral I have encountered) don’t have that issue. It also helps I live in a neighborhood (we have “borderless” neighborhood self sgeregation in the city amazingly or not enough) where there are few people with entitlement issues.

    Another poster brought up the division between Filipino groups. It reminds me of the bitter fight over the leadership of the Filipino American Council of Chicago. At least thee were able to unite to create the Rizal Center!

  48. November 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    What a wonderful, intelligent exchange of ideas!!! Keep the comments coming!!! President Barack Obama may just listen to what you people have to say!!!

    Cheers!!!

    Toto Gonzalez 🙂

  49. periphery said,

    November 9, 2008 at 10:46 am

    More Filipinos (inside and outside the USA) identify with the GOP because of a couple of basic reasons:

    1) Social conservatism that comes from being solidly Catholic. I know so many Filipinos here who always vote Republican for one reason and one reason ONLY – their opposition to abortion. All other issues be damned. I have absolutely no respect for people like that. I hate people who try to legislate their religious views into law, to basically ram it down other people’s throats. The Christian Taliban, that’s what they are.

    2) Deeply entrenched status consciousness (aka “isnabera”, “matapobre”, “pa-sosyal”), which steers people towards Republicans, who are stereotypically perceived to be the party of the rich. (Nevermind that the majority of Pinoys in the Philippines are poor, and the vast majority of those here in the US are either middle class or working class… not rich at all, by a long shot. They think that there is value to the whole “sosyal by association” myth.)

    An additional factor working against Obama is that so many of us Pinoys are basically racist. I mean my gosh, even among our own we discriminate against those with darker skin.

    That said, I am glad that Obama took the White House and that the Democrats have gained bigger majorities in Congress. I am so sick of Republican rule. I’m a fiscal conservative at heart, but too many GOP’ers are such knee-jerk “slash spending, shrink government” ideologues that they fail to grasp basic macroeconomic principles. Not the least of which is that there IS a time and place for deficit spending, and the government IS allowed to run deficits when certain situations (like this meltdown) call for it. Whenever the GOP calls for spending cuts (which I agree is a good thing most of the time), they always zero in on social safety net spending, which I think is heartless. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Blind devotion to Reagan’s voodoo supply-side economics sowed the seeds for this financial crisis. Alan Greenspan’s naive and zealous faith in unregulated markets acted as super fertilizer.

    Money is important, to be sure, but social justice and support of basic human dignity is far more so.

  50. jeremiah said,

    November 9, 2008 at 5:37 am

    i happened to be with a predominantly black crowd the day after obama was declared president-elect and one of the recurring themes discussed among the black folk was that, at long last daw, the “brothers and sisters” will now get a fair shake at jobs, etc….because the brother in the oval office will redress their years and years of getting the short end of the stick in everything…it made me sad to hear this because no matter how good a president he will be, these brothers and sisters, like every american, will still have to work their butts off to put food on their tables and roof over their heads! they are perpetuating the image of the stereotypical black who drinks and shoots up then makes a beeline at the welfare office for food stamps that the average hardworking taxpayer paid for.

    i think some of our brothers and sisters in the ‘hood had gotten brother obama’s message of hope and change all wrong. but ry telling them that.

  51. jeremiah said,

    November 9, 2008 at 5:15 am

    america is a great equalizer. it levels the playing field. no matter how poor and disenfranchised you were before you came to this great land, you are given a fresh start. cliche but true: you can be whatever you want to be in america. china’s citizens cannot say that about their country.

    most pinoys are not only inherently racists but regionalistic as well, which explains our propensity for organizing mini-barangays in america: the ilocano association of san francisco, the pangasinenses of your-nick-of-the woods, etc. and most of these organizations do not interface with each other.

    until we make a conscious decision to unite as one people in america, we will forever remain the invisible asians. we need an obama to take up the cudgels for us.

  52. abc said,

    November 9, 2008 at 1:07 am

    L*ding,

    Such wisdom you have. Thank you for your thoughts on my post.

    If America will fall and China rises, it’s going to be chaos. China is very new to having money. Progress happened so fast in China. They built concrete cities for just a couple of years. Even a person who does not have the wisdom to control sudden wealth can be cruel and very dangerous. what more of a country? Money is very very easy in China so as cracks for disasters. In hindsight, it’s going backwards in China. Gagawa sila ng mga toys na sobra ang Pb content, melamine milk, mga kotse na ewan kung impact-tested, and the list goes on.

  53. l*ding said,

    November 8, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    ISLA,

    dahling you’re very astute in your opinion. i like that. but you have to realised what America has which the other countries do not have (which to me is their greatest secret weapon) is HOLLYWOOD, the ultimate seller of dreams. America will never lose because they have the latest technology in warfare and business. It has been said that 75% of politicianss in America have never travelled overseas. In fact Prez Bush has only travelled outside America during his presidency. The reason: If you’re in heaven, where else do you go.

    That to me is what America looks like to the millions of human beings wanting to migrate there. The promise of America. 10% down, where you can buy tits by the pair using ur credit card. Hahahahaha

  54. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Another thing about Amerika: it was founded on hard-earned labor, honest sweat and enterprise. Laki sila sa hirap (they’ve steeled themselves via hardship). They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Walang living on herencia from Mama and Papa (no waiting for inheritances from mom and dad). Except for a certain sector that believes 40 acres and a mule are OWED to them — and we all know who that sector is…let’s NOT kid ourselves and be naive all over again just with the ascension of one man of color (and remember, his African father deserted the family at a certain time; and it was only the (white) maternal side that saw thru the raising of Barack and his sister), this minority in America lives on foodstamps AND a HUGE CHIP on its shoulders — one of the aspects about America I am not crazy about. (That’s why for the most part, talagang hindi uma-asenso sila.)

    Anyway, that’s why America achieved its place in the world is by the collective efforts of its people. It has achieved (OK, with some missteps along the way — but who hasn’t?) in its 2+ centuries of existence what some of the oldest, continuing societies in Europe have not been able to achieve for their several millenia. (And there is no better reflection of this than in the U.S. helping Japan after the war. So it nearly pulverized the once-proud nation of Japan into submission in 1945 — but then again, that was only an after-effect of the treacherous actions of the right-wing, militarist clique in Japan — but at the same time, it established the foundations for a losing country that, given also the work ethic of the Japanese people – vaulted that tiny island nation into the 2nd most prosperous economy in the world, some 25-30 years after near oblivion. And this would not have been possible without the U.S. properly setting the foundations for a constitutional monarchy after the war.; and making Japan pay for their aggressive actions, as is the case in most wars.)

    But at the end of the day, kung may matira pa (if there’s anything left): the Americans help out the needy in whatever ways they can. Kung may disaster, sino any unang tumutulong? (When there is a disaster, who is the first at the door to help?) And only lately have other nations returned the favor, as in the case of Katrina. Who thought of Foundations — and all these others creative ways to raise funds for Charity? Mga ‘kano. (The Americans.) Maski pudpod na sila sa utang (Even if they are knee-deep in debt), they still find the time and the heart to help out those more in need.

    Unlike say, the Philippines, walang masyadong (there is no great) sense of ‘entitlement’ amongst, in the better sense of the word, majority of white Americans. Maski may kaya (even amongst those who have means), they let their children take paper routes, take out college loans, etc., etc., to show the value of an honest day’s work, and the sense of satisfaction and empowerment that comes from having put in an honest day’s sweat. Unfortunately, this sense of entitlement is more widespread amongst the children of the ruling/upper classes of the RP, and that creates many deletorious effects and false values.

    Plus, even after all they have personally achieved, Americans don’t take themselves too seriously and never forget their roots. Freshest case in point, the new President-elect self-disparagingly called himself “a mutt’ at his first press conference yesterday. WHERE in the WORLD would you find a victorious leader saying that?

    Finally, to further prove the point of how most Americans believe in their credo that “an honest day’s work never killed anyone,” just look at the richest man in the world, Warren Buffett. He is NOT passing on his billions to his kids. I believe one of them may get as much as $5 mil over a lifetime (but that was because I believe that son showed exceptional enterprise). For the most past, old man Buffett is only giving the rest of his children from $1-2 mil each and board positions on his Foundation. After that, bahala na sila to make their own mark on the world or emulate their father’s wealth-amassing career, if they wanted to. In what other society would you find that?

    The above is just my amateur assessment of what makes America a great nation, thru thick and thin.

    GI

  55. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 8, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    L*ding,

    Please allow me to disagree with you, but Europe is far from being a “goner,” as you put it, and much less being replaced by Asian migrants. If anything, the largest investors in this Continent, in billions of Euros, worth at least 25% more than US Dollars, are the Emirates such as Qatar and the Russians.

    At one point someone remarked to me in Manila that the Philippine character had been formed by “three hundred years in a convent -meaning Spain, and fifty in Hollywood” – meaning you having been a protectorate of the United States, hence the adoration of so many of its former protectorates but it’s undeniable that there is a new World Order in which the United States will not and cannot reign supreme, and neither can Europe. The times of omnipotent Empires such as the Roman, Spanish or British Empire are gone, gone, gone and now it’s equally divided by the United States, the European Union and China, whether one likes it or not. Barring China today, in Europe we have the same democratic opportunities that the US has to offer with the difference that our very high taxes also provide for a measure of Social Security benefits that is what the Democratic Party’s Agenda is based upon to ensure the welfare of middle America.

    Wisdom and culture is not measured by clinging to one Nation’s social, economic or Military supremacy, however powerful in one’s lifetime, but by understanding and accepting that everything moves inexorably forward and we have no choice but to follow the path of evolution.

  56. l*ding said,

    November 8, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    ABC,

    hijo/hija the measure of a country’s greatness is not how many billionaires it has but how many average joes and janes it has who can afford to send their kids to school, eat 3 meals a day, take vacations regularly and have a nice suburban house somewhere. That to me is what makes a country great. For all the faults of America, to me it remains to be the greatest country on earth. By electing its first black president, it has redeem itself and no country in the world can do that. To transcend racial biases and actually allow someone not your kind rule your world. That to me makes America great! The Philippines with all its poverty and mistakes could have been another success story in Asia. But we blew it. We blew our chance when we were the Apple of the Eye of the Americans before World War 2. America wanted to deflower us but since our country is “conservative” we refused. Then instead of deflowering us, America analled us out of desperation.

    I admire America, not the might of its arms nor the scale of its wealth but the ideals that makes it the beacon in a ocean of sorrow and hardships. The ideals which makes its stronger everyday: Freedom, Liberty, and one’s ability to find his/her happiness. That to me are inalienable rights which sadly do not exist in other parts of the world. Europe is a goner. Its a dying continent. 500 years from now, Europe will be replaced by Asian migrants. In America today, 40% of the population are the minorities. Sooner or later, the whites will be the minorities.

    America is better off today with Barack Obama. I dont think we can be like America. We are such a racist country.

  57. abc said,

    November 7, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    we don’t know what underground-USA hides. but big investors in china and europe are americans. when it’s time for harvest, china will be left deflowered. which country has the most number of billionnaires? who are the richest in entertainment? where are the best schools? who own the best museums? Where is New York and Disney World? who owns the most intellectual rights? Yes China can produce the merchandise because USA’s intellectual rights allowed them so. Why would a country hold bars of heavy gold when they can hoard diamonds instead.

    Modern USA was built by history for hundreds of years to be the most comfortable place on Earth. And great things and greater things can only flourish in a place that is far advanced.

    now u see the Gates, Buffets and Waltons but don’t you remember the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts?

  58. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    The super-powers still are the USA, China and Russia (and the Euro bloc). India and Brazil still aren’t quite there yet. Militarily, China and the US will counter Russia, still smarting from the breakup of its old empire and trying to find its rightful place in the G8 — not just an additional saling-pusa. When it can get back on its feet, and when it can shake off its caste system, India should serve as a counterbalance to China.

    The US, while its economy is taking a battering (and the rest of the world following suit), altho some economists also see it a self-correction, will still emerge as a world leader after all these financial tribulations. Of the big 3, it is the only one that really takes the collective will of its people into account, and to a certain extent ‘listens’ to as many sides as it can. (I said ‘listens;’ doesn’t necessarily act…but that’s another story.)

    With the election of El Mocha (he is half-white after all; and Richard Nixon was actually the first ‘black’ man elected to the US Presidency. He was called ‘black’ Irish (i.e., the black-haired Irish, much like Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan — due to their Spanish blood…from the survivors of the Spanish Armada who sought refuge in and co-mingled with the Irish. I suspect that’s where Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas gets her ‘Iberian-ish’ looks too); (Jackie Kennedy was the first ‘mulatta’ to have ascended as First Lady. Her father, after all, was nicknamed ‘Blackie’ Bouvier, due to his dark mane of hair. Wink – wink. Now the new Perse Lady, Michelle…I dunno about her. I think she is a tough b*tch; but they ‘softened’ up her ‘image’ a little for the campaign…, so ‘pa-tawa-tawa siya ngayon *rolls eyes*), the US of the 3.5 Superpowers has reached a ‘maturity’ that the other 2 have not. Kuno.

    Speaking of ‘famous’ mulattos in even more predominantly ‘whiter’ societies than the USA, did any of you know that (a) the famous Russian poet Pushkin was partially Afro? (b) here we have a Philippine connection –since they supposedly have relatives in the RP who can trace their connection with him, … NO; not some NBA star… but the French writers, the Alexandre Dumas,’ pere et fils. You’ll have to check Paquito’s previous posts to see which extant RP family is related to the father of Portos, Athos, Aramis and D’Artangnan. ANd (c) si Mrs. Napoleon, si Josepina, era tambien una mulatitta; era originalmente de Guadaloupe (hindi doon sa tulay; pero de la Caribbe…) But I digress…

    Back to Geo-racio-politics 101…., Russia, China and India have homogenous populations; thus view the world from their own distinct (narrow) mindsets. The U.S., even though its Afro population is only like 12-13% of its total population (vs. I believe 55% for Brazil), has proven with the election of Mr. Obama — and actually even earlier with the appointments of Colin Powell (another ‘cafe au lait’) as Joint Chief of Staff, and Condeleeza Rice (‘pura chocolate’) as Sec. of State — that it CAN TRANSCEND skin colour and advance someone for the WORTH (but those were appointments rather than winning contests) of an exceptional individual person — something we may NOT see from Russia or China (or even India and Brazil). The latter, Brazil, even with its much higher Afro-descended population, has yet to vault any dark-skinned persons to power. Its ruling elite is still European-descended (as is most of South America). It’s only in the Caribbean nations, with their 80-85% Afro-populations that, obviously, you would see more ‘dark’ leaders.

    The point is, in the arena of transcending racial barriers, the US has once again stolen a lead on its rivals; and by doing so, creates a deeper resonance with many countries in the Third World. (Personally, what’s more interesting to me is, with his latter-day roots to Chicago, how far BO’s ties to The Windy City will affect that city’s chances to win the 2016 Summer Olympics honor. Can Mr. BO exercise his magic once again to bring home the bacon for Chicago a year from now, when the IOC picks the 2016 host in Copenhagen? Chicago is up against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and previous host, Tokyo, in this race. )

    Anyway, don’t do as I say; do as I do. (I still wrote in my candidate of choice, Mrs. Clinton — and me as VEEP in my ballot!! 🙂 After all, it is Amerika!! Anyone can be anything — even if only in their own mind!! 🙂 Now, I am going to have my expresso mocha. I hear that is the ‘in’ color for the fall!!

    GI

  59. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    November 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    In all seriousness, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall a very high ranking UN official told me that a new era had started: the balance of Power in the world had begun to shift and in the future it would be equally divided by the USA, the European Union, the Russian Federation and China.

    As far as Military Power is concerned, indeed it is now firmly divided between the USA and NATO-member countries, Russia and China, but the latter have shown that their military actions are defensive rather than offensive.

    Economically speaking, the three Powers today are the USA, which must redress its economy swiftly, the European Union and China but in the medium term India and Brazil cannot be neglected.

    As far as Foreign Policy is concerned, I’m afraid the USA has much to learn from the European Union, notably the UK and France, the world’s real diplomatists and China. It is imperative for the USA to realize that democracy means different things in different countries and that a system that works so smoothly in the USA cannot always be applied in other countries, and certainly not by force as the USA is in the habit of doing. The US Government should content itself when countries wish to emulate their system by adapting it to their own culture, not having it imposed upon them.

    In closing, I believe that just as there have been geopolitical disasters like Jimmy Carter who I blame, together with Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, for forever having destabilized the Middle East with the removal of the Imperial Régime in Iran, a bulwark against terrorism and Muslim fundamentalism in the region, Ronald Reagan’s economic policy is the root cause of today’s disarray in the American financial system affecting millions of people in the USA and worldwide.

    Therefore, if President-Elect Obama surrounds himself with sound advisors, we have nothing to fear in the short to medium term as confidence will be built in what affects the world most today, the international financial markets.

  60. November 6, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Simple, simple, simpleton.

    Before you consider military muscle that will be flexed by India, China and Russia, remind yourself how the once ALMIGHTY dollar dropped against the EURO, against the PESO ! The world REALIZES the FEET OF CLAY of the Once Supreme Eagle, America.

    Naturally since brand new Pesident Obama isn’t skilled in international sing and dance, protocol and affairs, the semi-KANOS like us the BROWN brothers of Democracy CRINGE and QUIVER.

    We are relieved the REPUBLICANS are out of the picture, but we always know the DEMOCRATIC years are usually troublesome if anything else.

    It’s still the MARKET FALLING to pieces, we all fear worse case scenarios under a neophyte like President Obama. But like FDR, he could turn the US around. He should investigate Roosevelt’s credo and WORK IT.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: