Monday, December 29, 2008

A look back at 2009

A 2009 retrospective by Niall Ferguson.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rove 110, Bush 95

That's the number of books Karl Rove and W. Bush read during their book-readin' contest in 2006.

It all started on New Year's Eve in 2005. President Bush asked what my New Year's resolutions were. I told him that as a regular reader who'd gotten out of the habit, my goal was to read a book a week in 2006. Three days later, we were in the Oval Office when he fixed me in his sights and said, "I'm on my second. Where are you?" Mr. Bush had turned my resolution into a contest.

By coincidence, we were both reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals." The president jumped to a slim early lead and remained ahead until March, when I moved decisively in front. The competition soon spun out of control. We kept track not just of books read, but also the number of pages and later the combined size of each book's pages -- its "Total Lateral Area."
The Opinion Journal Widget

We recommended volumes to each other (for example, he encouraged me to read a Mao biography; I suggested a book on Reconstruction's unhappy end). We discussed the books and wrote thank-you notes to some authors.

At year's end, I defeated the president, 110 books to 95. My trophy looks suspiciously like those given out at junior bowling finals. The president lamely insisted he'd lost because he'd been busy as Leader of the Free World.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ricardo Manapat, the Forger, is dead

From ABSCBN: "Ricardo Manapat, the former director of the National Archives and author of the classic anti-cronyism pamphlet "Some Are Smarter Than Others", has died. He was 55...

In 2004, he was accused of tampering documents pertinent to a disqualification case filed against then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. The Supreme Court later ruled against the petition and allowed Poe to run."

Videos of Celebrities talking in French, German, Spanish

Sandra Bullock in gives an interview in German, and at the Bambi Awards (german speech)

Audrey Hepburn gives interview in French and Italian.

Jodie Foster gives a french interview in 2007 for the movie "The Brave One".

Kobe Bryant's interview in Italian.

Kim Cattrall (Samantha of "Sex in the City") does an intro statement in German.

Natalie Portman talking in Hebrew. More here.

Viggo Mortensen speaks perfect Spanish (w/ an Argentinian accent). Also in Danish. And he tried to answer a question in French.

Johnny Depp in French at the World Music Awards in 2002.

Malin Akerman does interview in Swedish

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Uh oh...

When America sneezes, the world catches a cold. But what if China sneezes...

From David Frum:

I've been banging the drum in this space for some weeks about the risk to China's political stability posed by the financial crisis. Here's an authoritarian regime that legitimates itself by delivering economic benefits - only the benefits are ceasing to flow. Today's Washington Post delivers the latest report on the consequences:

When 9,000 of Shin Guoqing's fellow taxi drivers went on strike early last month, he felt he had to join them.

Soaring inflation had undermined what his $300-a-month income could buy for his family, and Shin said he was frustrated that the government had done nothing to help. "After running around the whole day, you have only a few renminbi for it," he said, referring to China's currency. "You don't feel good about your life."

For two days, the drivers held this Sichuan province metropolis of 31 million people under siege, blocking roads and smashing cars. The Communist Party quickly stopped the violence by promising to address the drivers' demands for easier access to fuel and better working conditions.

From the far western industrial county of Yongdeng to the southern resort city of Sanya and the commercial center of Guangzhou, members of China's upwardly mobile working class — taxi drivers, teachers, factory workers and even auxiliary police officers — have mounted protests since the Chongqing strike, refusing to work until their demands were met.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"...Trade is not the highest priority for the incoming Obama administration..."

From Instapundit:

Becerra Won’t Be Obama’s Trade Rep. “Saying that he has come to the realization that trade is not the highest priority for the incoming Obama administration, Rep. Xavier Becerra has decided not to accept Barack Obama’s offer to be United States Trade Representative.” I’m very worried about a descent into protectionism, which would turn the economic situation from problematic to disastrous all by itself. This isn’t making me feel better.

Hmmm... and how will that affect the RP?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where's my Conan and Leno?

bakit walang Tonight Show at Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien sa JACK Tv kanina?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking Naps

it's good for you. although i still haven't mastered the technique on how to take it during breaktime.

but in my experience, naps aren't necessary if you get enough sleep (7 hours) at night.

only sleep deprived people need naps... like me sometimes kung 6 hours lang ang tulog ko.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Today: GM. Tomorrow: the Egypt bailout?

Too big to fail, World Edition.

Manila reports Ebola virus in pigs

but it's not the same one as the deadly African variety that affect humans raw.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How the Kennedy and Nixon administration used the Fairness Doctrine

Until the Reagan administration extinguished it, the doctrine required broadcasters to devote reasonable time to fairly presenting all sides of any controversial issue discussed on the air. The government decided the meaning of the italicized words.

When government regulation of the content of broadcasts began in 1927, the supposed justification was the scarcity of radio spectrum. In 1928 and 1929, when Republicans ran Washington, a New York station owned by the Socialist Party was warned to show "due regard" for others' opinions, and the government blocked the Chicago Federation of Labor's attempted purchase of a station because all stations should serve "the general public." In 1939, when Democrats ran Washington, the government conditioned renewal of one station's license on that station's promise to desist from anti-FDR editorials.

In 1969, when the Supreme Court declared the fairness doctrine constitutional, it probably did not know the Kennedy administration's use of it, as one official described it: "Our massive strategy was to use the fairness doctrine to challenge and harass the right-wing broadcasters and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue." Richard Nixon emulated this practice. In 1973, Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, a liberal, said the doctrine "has no place in our First Amendment regime" because it "enables administration after administration to toy with TV or radio."

From George Will.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bakit absent si Mike Arroyo sa recent Pacquiao match?

dahil ba kasama siya kasama siya sa imbistigasyon ng money laundering ng mga US authorities at FBI?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Court of Appeals wants Erap Docu rewriten before it gives TV airing approval

The 12th division of the Court of Appeals demanded a major rewrite in the Erap Documentary before it will the movie to be shown on tv:

There was the 12th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) actually demanding a major rewrite of the Joseph Estrada bio-documentary, should it be shown on television, because as the court ruled, the producers of the bio pic Ang Mabuhay para sa Masa in documenting the Edsa ll revolt, which was definitely a coup d’ etat, does not show the “legality of the transfer of power” from Estrada to Gloria Arroyo in January 2001.

The CA said in its ruling that “petitioners are still mandated to recognize the legality of the transfer of power from former President Estrada to President Arroyo and reflect the same in the file” while upholding Malacañang’s position to include in the film the side of persons who were allegedly “defamed” by the documentary that states Estrada was illegally removed from office.

As the report went, the CA was quoted as having ruled that “the portion ‘Power-Grab,’ by its descriptive appellation, connotes the illegal seizure of power purportedly executed by the current president. It runs contrary to the Supreme Court (SC) ruling.”

Apart from this, the court also found objectionable the portion with “Conspiracy” emblazoned across pictures of Gloria, Mike Arroyo, Fidel Ramos, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Angelo Reyes, then Estrada’s chief of staff, Michael Defensor, Hernando Perez, Chavit Singson and other businessmen.

This said the court, “insinuates their unified action to overthrow President Estrada” and that “integration of said portion into the film tends to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in the government,” with the court even adding that the biopic can even be deemed “libelous and defamatory.”

More amazing, the court, acting like a lapdog of Gloria, ruled that “finding the subject film replete with defamatory remarks and scenes (it is) likely to impair faith in its government” and “imposition of limitation/condition on its exhibition appears in order.”

More: As the balancing factor in the form of replies of personalities defamed, “their replies should be integrated in the film as a part thereof,” the court said.

This is not only a clear infringement on the freedom of the press and of speech that the CA upholds, but worse, it even dictates what should and should not be included in a documentary.

Why should a court impose and mandate prior restraint on a documentary — because as sure as hell, the court, being a part of government has imposed prior restraint in getting that Erap documentary from being released in the electronic media and even dictates to the producers what should and should not be included in a documentary.

But it was a power grab. There was a conspiracy. And this is another attempt to censor political speech.

Armida Siguion Reyna:

I hear that the Court of Appeals (CA) wants Joseph Estrada’s biographical video documentary to first acknowledge the legitimacy of Gloria Arroyo’s presidency before it can be shown on television, and for a moment, I think, hey. Not even the CA bench is sure who the rightful leader of the country is, and that’s why it needs the Erap video to tell them!

Don’t think I’m being odd. Right now there’s nothing odder than the court requirement to edit into Ang Mabuhay Para sa Masa the recognition of “the legality of the power shift” that was Edsa Dos. The addition completely changes the tenor of the docu from when it was originally conceived and put together three years ago, at the time the subject was still in Tanay. It also tells us just how much this administration continues to be afraid of the man it kicked out of power in the name of morality, only to find out that — well, you all know what’s been found out about the one installed, no matter the times she and her cabal deny their thievery.

The value of Ang Mabuhay Para sa Masa as a historical document cannot be dismissed by even those who disagree with what it says. It was produced, written and directed from a point of view that is decidedly not Gloria Arroyo’s, nor that of any from her side of the fence, so it’s hard to understand why the CA and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) want it redone as if it were produced, written and directed by Malacañang.

Government has access to media such as no one else has. In 2005, soon after then Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye made a fool of himself declaring which of the two CD’s in his hands was fake, the Pasig River Mafia threatened, through the National Telecommunications Commission, to close media outlets caught broadcasting the “Hello Garci” recordings. This is how powerful Mrs. Arroyo is, and still her men insist on re-editing the Erap video to remind all and sundry who the boss is?

The CA order for revision, says producer Rey David of Public Perception Management Asia (PublikAsia), is “a directive to rewrite not just a script but an entire portion of Philippine history,” because “everything in the newsreel can be verified in historical documents and even news reports. Therefore I find it odd that we are being compelled to revise certain portions of the film when there was nothing invented or fictional in it.”

Read the whole thing. and read this report too from the inquirer.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Only Ten?

the indian government said that only 10 terrorists were involved in the Mumbai attack. kinda hard to believe since a lot of valued targets spanning a wide area were under attack on that day. i won't be surprised if half of the terrorists members managed to escape and "melted away" among the indian population after their successful operation.

No sense of delicadeza

Many of the Justice committee members that voted against the impeachment complaint were among those listed as recipients of the Jocjoc Bolante Fertilizer Fund.