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Don’t just believe; think! DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/25/2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Don’t just believe; think!

Herman Tiu Laurel
At the recent anti-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) rallies in Chicago, a placard captured on TV and the Internet that caught my attention read: “Don’t believe them again!”
The US has invited more than 80 heads-of-state and heads-of-government to the Nato meet in Obama’s hometown. Rick Rozoff, journalist and “Stop Nato” movement manager, reports that the matters to be discussed range from how to close the book on the now Vietnam-like quagmire of the Afghan war — Nato’s first ground war and the US’ longest armed conflict to date; to the alliance’s defense capabilities as well as the US-Nato missile “defense” system; and to the expansion of the military bloc’s global military partnerships that would lead up to the consolidation of a Nato-oriented global intervention force. But not tabled for the talks is why Nato, an organization formed expressly for the defense of Europe, is in a war 5,583 kilometers away in Afghanistan, and why the US invited over 50 non-members to its summit.

Suspicions have been raised that the Nato Chicago summit is the beginning of the Global Nato, a fear that is very well-founded given the extra-European theater wars the US is bringing Nato into — from Afghanistan in Asia to Libya in Africa. Nato’s former secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has denied the allegations of a planned “global policeman” role, pointing to a lack of material resources, which is the same problem befogging today’s secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen as European countries suffer economic debacles while spending billions in Afghanistan and angering constituencies back home.

But that still won’t stop US Conservative think-tanks from continuing to argue and lay the basis for US shepherding of Nato into its global misadventures, such as in the case of Foreign Affairs magazine contributors, Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier, who wrote: “The advent of a new global politics after the Cold War has led Nato to expand its geographic reach and the range of its operations. Now, Nato must extend its membership to any democratic state that can help it fulfill its new responsibilities. Only a truly global alliance can address the global challenges of the day.”

In September of 2010, Rick Rozoff reports that Daalder, also the US permanent representative to Nato, told Indian journalists visiting Nato’s Brussels headquarters: “I think it is important to have a dialog (with India) and deepen that dialog. It is through dialog, through understanding each other’s perceptions and perhaps by working on misperceptions that may exist, that we can strengthen the relations between India and Nato,” bluntly suggesting that India should abandon its policy of neutrality and collaborate with the US and Nato in developing an international interceptor missile system.

Last December, US President Obama declared the “re-balancing” of his country’s presence in Asia, announced US Marine deployment in Australia, followed in March by initiatives for a missile defense shield in Asia, with Japan, South Korea and even the Philippines ostensibly guarding against the North Korean “threat.” In Africa, Nato has been enticing the African Union to sign a partnership agreement and reinforcing the African Standby Force (ASF) which saw action in the Côte d’Ivoire coup against a sitting president in favor of an IMF man (reminds us of the parliamentary coup in Greece and Italy where Goldman Sachs men grabbed power).

It is no wonder that a placard imploring people to “Don’t believe them anymore” — a small but powerful message — has been suppressed violently, with over 300 protesters arrested in a martial law-like atmosphere in Obama’s hometown. The protests, attended even by a delegation of Afghan children, shows the world doesn’t believe the global powers anymore and has learned to think.

In the Philippines, we have countless formal and informal spokesmen for US geopolitical interests, starting with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin, supported by a cast of hundreds in media and other institutions. One media talking head, for instance, said over radio that “Anyone who thinks of sharing the China Sea with China is a traitor,” with him, of course, saying nothing about the US-British swindle of the Filipinos in Malampaya, or the larceny that is about to happen in the Reed Bank with Monte Oro Corp. and MVP where nothing will be left for the Filipino nation — all invariably backed by Western mafias (like Carlyle or Goldman Sachs) that have been culprits in many Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) deals that have shortchanged the nation. So is such posturing patriotic or a build-up to the acceptance of an Asian Nato?

As the global and local Establishment — the mainstream — is absolutely no longer credible, thinking Filipinos should thus declare, “Don’t believe them anymore,” as my radio program audience did in their texts.

The mainstream’s attitude is typified by what certain quarters have on the Corona impeachment trial, especially the forces pushing it, from Malacañang to the Ombudsman; to the haven of Harvey Keh, the Ateneo de Manila University and its Jesuits; to the Yellow evil society (who counts the ham-acting Heidi Mendoza as a member) worthy of being sued by the defense panel; and, most of all, Benigno Aquino III, who has not a shred of integrity and reliability as a democratic leader after two years of absolutely incompetent governance.

And since we ought to not believe them, too, something must be done about this, the sooner the better.
(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m.; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120525com5.html

A fruit of conspiracy? EDITORIAL 05/25/2012

A fruit of conspiracy?

Click to enlarge
What was supposed to be the biggest performance in the life of Chief Justice Renato Corona turned out to be a highly confusing event.

The anti-climactic end of what could have been a credible defense of the embattled head of the Supreme Court left many of those watching the proceedings stunned.

More than three hours of the chief magistrate’s testimony ended with Corona unceremoniously leaving his seat and the witness stand without permission from the Senate court.

Some saw a mix of defiance and exasperation in the conduct of Corona but Enrile took it as a form of disrespect for the Senate court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120525com1.html

Mass arrests: Over 700 Canadian protesters detained in police crackdown (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Mass arrests: Over 700 Canadian protesters detained in police crackdown (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Over 700 students have been arrested in Canada during the latest night of rallies against tuition fee hikes and the adoption of controversial bill that is widely seen as a tool to limit freedom of speech, association and assembly.

­Police in Montreal dispersed unsanctioned protests and arrested 518 demonstrators on Wednesday night. The arrests were also made in Quebec City, where some 170 were detained, and in Sherbrooke. There were no reports of injuries or casualties.

Police used kettling tactics to encircle the protesters and contain them within a small space. People reportedly threw projectiles such as fireworks and bottles at officers, forcing them to carry out extensive arrests..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/canada-police-arrest-students-tuition-110/

Death row guinea pigs: Missouri uses untested drug for executions

Death row guinea pigs: Missouri uses untested drug for executions

Missouri has chosen propofol – the drug that killed Michael Jackson – as its instrument for future lethal injections. Opponents say the drug has not been properly tested, and may cause suffering or even unsuccessful executions.

­.US states that practice capital punishment have been in a quandary since sodium thiopental – a cocktail of three drugs given to death row prisoners since the 1970s – has become unavailable. Hospira, its maker, shifted its production to Europe, whose countries object to producing medicine that can later be used to kill people, and thus no longer sells it to US authorities.

After stocks dwindled, most states replaced sodium thiopental with a similar drug, but Missouri has chosen its own path – propofol..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/missouri-executions-propofol-jackson-127/

Crisis-led suicide epidemic: Greek mother & son jump to death

Crisis-led suicide epidemic: Greek mother & son jump to death

A 60-year-old Greek musician and his 91-year-old mother jumped to their deaths from their 5th floor apartment, driven to despair by financial woes. This double death is the latest in a rising epidemic of crisis-induced suicides in Greece.

­Witness accounts vary – some say the mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, jumped first, screaming a prayer as she plummeted to her death. Other neighbors say the mother and her son jumped together, holding hands.

But the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the family had been struggling for a long time. The night before, Antonis Perris posted a suicide note of sorts on a popular Greek forum, saying he had no way of resolving the family’s financial issues..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/greece-double-suicide-crisis-136/

From the ringside NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 05/25/2012

From the ringside

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Not all that eager to be in the Senate on the 40th day of the impeachment trial, I sat there on the second row seat graciously provided for me by a senator-friend thinking of the comfortable bedroom where I could have stayed to watch the proceedings with all my seora amenities an arms reach away. And then, it happened: the walkout, or the drop in blood sugar levels (depending on what side youre on) and Juan Ponce Enrile losing his temper, in quick succession.

To be 81, and there when news breaks out, is the closest one gets to being young again.
The afternoon began with my brother in a congenial mood. He looked like he had a good nights rest, and seemed relaxed. He let off last weeks witness, Harvey Keh, with only an admonition never to try his luck again, so I presumed all was going to go well.

Especially for the Chief Justice, who was appearing for the first time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120525com4.html

JPE and Davide: Contrasting presiding justices FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/25/2012

JPE and Davide: Contrasting presiding justices

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Due to the hasty exit of Chief Justice Renato Corona, described by some as a walkout, but apparently done because of his feeling faint and ill, what immediately came to mind was the way presiding impeachment court judge Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile handled the situation, in comparison to then presiding judge Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

It was there that made clear the power of the presiding judge to continue with the trial and even cite for contempt the then prosecutors during the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada.

Davide could have even ordered the prosecutors — private and public — to return to the court and finish their business, or else, Davide could certainly have declared the prosecution in default and had the senator-judges take the vote — which clearly would have established the acquittal of Estrada..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120525com2.html

RP gov’t ‘lacks sincerity’ in sea dispute — China 05/25/2012

RP gov’t ‘lacks sincerity’ in sea dispute — China

Beijing has accused Manila of not being sincere in seeking a peaceful end to a standoff over disputed waters, ramping up the rhetoric one day after confirming the deployment of more ships.

The Chinese foreign ministry made the remark as tension lingered over the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal in the South China Sea, a vast body of water which stretches almost to the Equator and is claimed in its entirety by China.

“During the whole process, China has been appealing for diplomatic consultations to resolve the situation there,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.

“But the actions of the Philippine side cannot but raise our doubt over the sincerity of the Philippines to properly resolve the current situation.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120525hea4.html

Corona confirms return to trial By Benjamin B. Pulta, Fernan J. Angeles and Angie M. Rosales 05/25/2012


Corona confirms return to trial

By Benjamin B. Pulta, Fernan J. Angeles and Angie M. Rosales 05/25/2012

Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona will face his accusers before the Senate impeachment court today, the deadline given by the court for him to return to the witness stand, in defiance of his doctors’ orders, chief defense counsel retired Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas said yesterday.

The magistrate will honor an order for him to again appear before the impeachment court.“He will be there,” he assured newsmen in an interview after an audience with his client who remained in the intensive care unit of The Medical City in Pasig City.

Corona issued a statement as his testimony before the Senate court last Tuesday but abruptly left the witness stand without the permission of the impeachment court that resulted in presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ordering a lock down in the Senate to prevent him from leaving..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120525hea1.html

AFP sends HR head to UN amid censures on Noynoy By Mario J. Mallari 05/25/2012

AFP sends HR head to UN amid censures on Noynoy

By Mario J. Mallari 05/25/2012

The Armed Forces of the Philippines dispatched its Human Rights Office (HRO) chief yesterday to Switzerland as part of a delegation that is expected to report to the United Nations (UN) the current state of human rights protection in the country amid a string of criticisms from civil rights groups on the failure of President Aquino to end the culture of impunity under his administration.

Just yesterday, Amnesty International (AI) accused Aquino of reneging on his vow to end human rights abuses under his administration.

“In the past two years of Aquino as President, reports of torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearance persisted and other human rights injustices may be moving slowly but hundreds of past cases remained unresolved,” a local AI official said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120525hea3.html

No takers for RP bananas despite China clearance By Fernan J. Angeles 05/25/2012

No takers for RP bananas despite China clearance

By Fernan J. Angeles 05/25/2012

While Malacaang hailed the clearance for the entry of Philippine bananas to China as a progress in the efforts to address the more stringent quarantine measures being imposed by Beijing, there were no takers for the bananas, which have rotten during the three weeks they were held in abeyance at the Chinese port of entry.

At the regular Palace press briefing, deputy presidential spokesaman Abigail Valte said the 170 containers included the 40 containers that were earlier given the green light to enter China.

Valte said both countries were adhering to the quarantine measures they have drafted to ensure that all of Beijings phytosanitary requirements were met..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120525nat8.html

Farmer who shot, ate rare eagle fined 05/25/2012

Farmer who shot, ate rare eagle fined


Conservationists yesterday slammed the “pathetic” fine imposed on a Philippine farmer who shot and ate one of the world’s rarest eagles, saying it could embolden other hunters.

In the first case brought under the country’s 2001 Wildlife Act, Bryan Balaon, 26, was fined P100,000 ($2,300), Philippine Eagle Foundation president Dennis Salvador said.

“We find the fine pathetic. He got off with a slap on the wrist,” Salvador told Agence France Presse.

The fine handed down by a court Wednesday could encourage those who hunt the eagle for sport or collect it as a trophy, he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120525nat4.html

Padaca to bring P25-M graft case to SC By Ted Boehnert 05/25/2012

Padaca to bring P25-M graft case to SC

By Ted Boehnert 05/25/2012

Former Gov. Grace Padaca said her lawyers will be seeking redress before the Supreme Court (SC) for the P25-million graft case filed against her and several others before the Sandiganbayan for which arrest warrants have been issued.

In a statement, the former broadcast journalist, who walks on crutches, said that during her consultation with her lawyers, they had brought out the option of raising the matter of the case before the highest court of the land.

Ironically for the Liberal Padaca, the SC is still being headed by someone whom her partymate President Aquino wants to be removed from his post: Chief Justice Renato Corona..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120525nat1.html

Despite her defeat in AI finale, Jessica Sanchez showered with praises 05/25/2012

Despite her defeat in AI finale, Jessica Sanchez showered with praises

President Aquino led the heartbroken Philippines in heaping praise yesterday on a teenager of Filipino-Latino heritage following her loss in the final of US talent show American Idol.

Millions of Filipinos watched Jessica Sanchez, 16, compete against eventual winner Phillip Phillips in the live broadcast on cable television, virtually bringing the karaoke-crazy country to a standstill.

Residents of Bataan province near Manila, where the teenager’s mother traces her roots, went on an unauthorized “Jessica Sanchez” holiday, skipping school and work, according to media reports..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120525met2.html

Judge to Tulfo brothers: Don’t get near Raymart, Claudine By Arlie O. Calalo 05/25/2012

Judge to Tulfo brothers: Don’t get near Raymart, Claudine

By Arlie O. Calalo 05/25/2012

A temporary protection order has been issued by a Quezon City trial court judge that effectively prohibits the three brothers of columnist Ramon Tulfo from getting near actor Raymart Santiago and his wife Claudine Barretto.

Judge Bayani Vargas of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 219 handed the order nearly two weeks ago after Tulfo brothers Ben, Erwin and Raffy made threatening remarks against the showbiz couple on their show on TV5.

Earlier, the couple through their counsel Alex Avisado had sought a writ of amparo and a temporary protection order in their bid not to give the Tulfo brothers a chance to get close to them after their alleged threatening remarks against them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120525met1.html

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