Black people know what cannot be said. What clearly cannot be said is that the events of Ferguson do not begin with Michael Brown lying dead in the street, but with policies set forth by government at every level. What clearly cannot be said is that the people of Ferguson are regularly plundered, as their grandparents were plundered, and generally regarded as a slush-fund for the government that has pledged to protect them. What clearly cannot be said is the idea of superhuman black men who “bulk up” to run through bullets is not an invention of Darren Wilson, but a staple of American racism. TA-NEHISI COATES, The Atlantic
NEW YORK CITY — Imelda Romualdez Marcos leads a charmed life. So far able to dodge the bullet of criminal liability and seemingly inured to the regular impugning of her past and her character, she’s living proof that lives can have third acts.
Ooh’d and ahh’d over in public, the congresswoman now has her own “Evita,” the musical based on Evita Peron’s life with whom she was often compared, a comparison she didn’t like one bit. But she has never raised objections, at least publicly, to the rock musician, he-of-Talking-Heads-fame, David Byrne’s poperetta “Here Lies Love,” reviewed last year in this column.
While doing field research in the country’s poorest areas, my team came across a community where some residents, when asked why there were so many poor people in their area, matter-of-factly said it’s because many of their neighbors are lazy. We also interviewed the project staff of a national government poverty reduction program; when asked why there were so many poor people in their province, their response was, again, because many of them are lazy. Regional heads of national government agencies that we gathered in a focus group discussion chorused that the reason there are many poor people in their region is that most of them are—you guessed it—lazy.
Last Monday, November 17, 2014 a number of interesting events happened in the Senate. In the morning, a necrological service was held for the much-loved Senator Juan Flavier. Two other related events took place: the referral to the Committee on Finance of the General Appropriations Bill (House Bill 4968) and a briefing by Social Watch Philippines on why the Senate should not allow the redefinition of savings and change the meaning of the word “errata.”
It could be another case, as worse as its lead-footed release of funds for Yolanda-devastated areas, of the Aquino Administration’s criminal inefficiency and sluggishness in undertaking real reform programs. Or there may be a worse explanation.
Since September 2012 – two years ago – the Supreme Court finally ended nearly two decades of litigation and ruled that the P82.8 billion that originated from the so-called coco-levy imposed during the 1970s by the strongman Marcos were absolutely government funds that could be used only for the coconut industry.
Shortly after President Aquino marked his 100th day in office, in 2010, I wrote a column attempting an analysis of the new commander in chief’s self-evidently well-defined sense of limits. The unfortunate controversy over his decision to omit Tacloban City from his packed schedule commemorating the first anniversary of “Yolanda” over the weekend reminded me of that attempt; perhaps (if you will allow me) it bears a second look.