eK! is electronic Kabalen, a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

wilfrido david
wilfrido david LET US set aside our own problems for the moment and dwell on what ails the world.

In the United States Obama has to parry blows coming from his political opponents and the malcontents who see nothing good in what he does. Not to defend Obama, but all of us know that he assumed the US presidency with a lot on his to-do list. First and foremost is the state of the economy, which was already in chaos towards the end of President Bush's term. Millions of jobs were lost as businesses closed. Americans blame all that on Obama, just like the president of the Philippines has to answer to Filipinos for natural calamities. The average American chose to ignore or disregard the root of the economic situation: the greedy and the devil-may-care Bigwigs on Wall Street.

There are numerous issues that plague Washington. Some needing immediate resolution, some outrageously frivolous and bordering on lunacy, and a great many debatable at the least. Nonetheless, Obama has to deal with those that merit little attention or earn the ire of Russ Limbo and Glenn Beck, who suspiciously enough reports to Sarah Palin, the likely flag bearer of the Republican Party. Ms. Palin has a likely following behind her to launch a run for the US presidency in 2012, formidable enough if in case Hillary Clinton throws her hat into the political ring for a second try at the post.

The Repulicans, who have just won the majority of seats in the US Congress, plan to have their sweet revenge by trying to repeal Obama's Health Plan. Big deal and easier said than done, anyway you look at it! At the end of the day, the repeal, whether successful or not, will add to the deficit. And yet they bicker about it at every opportunity!

*

Why is the gay community so preoccupied with same sex marriage? Is it purely for the romance of it or the appeal of a more solid commitment? Why is it so important to them that it merits demonstrations or riots for it? If heterosexual couples are content with live-in arrangements, why else clamor for same-sex marriage and battle it out strenuously for constitutional amendment? Obama is losing sleep over this, but hopefully not in nightmare proportions. If there is a positive side to this, it would be along the lines of suppressing population growth if not promoting sales of Preparation-H and Viagra!

In the Philippines, on the other hand, gays are not as demanding or idealistic about the issue. "If it's not broke, don't fix it," the popular saying goes. Gay Pinoys are more open, although a great many of them still hide in the closet. Successful gays abound in the home country. In the field of fashion, in the halls of government, and undeniably dominant so in the entertainment arena where gay Pinoys could even establish their own TV networks. Where would our film industry be without the gay set: actors, script writers, producers, and mostly directors who lord (or queen) it over by sheer numbers.

*

Entitlements play a major part in the US deficit spending. Where in the world can you be on unemployment benefits indefinitely? I have friends who were laid off from their jobs and have stayed unemployed for two years, cashing in checks averaging $320 per week and are so "with" the situation that America is building a nation of lazybones either by circumstance or necessity. Why bother to look for a job for as long as Congress keeps extending the benefits.

The poor who are classified as below the poverty line are on welfare and are apparently loving it. They are given food stamps and are entitled to rent apartments that are 80 percent subsidized by the State they live in. Even illegal immigrants with the right connections are able to enjoy these benefits, while the poor working man must eke out a living to maintain a fairly decent existence. Even unwed mothers are taken care of like living examples in an elite society. They get at least a $200 per month allowance per (illegitimate) child, and some extra aid for the mother, for as long as they do not live with her boyfriend or father of the claimant child.

Children born out of wedlock proliferate in the Philippines, not necessarily exclusively in the squatter areas, but here and there in society regardless of status. Perhaps it is just as well that they are not provided with such benefits, because that would negate population control and encourage graft and corruption all the more. Welfare is more like it. But then again, beneficiaries would probably sell their food tickets for want of a chance of hitting it big with jueteng or lotto tickets.

Major criminality hug the headlines in the daily papers. Drug pushing, street muggings, rape, child molestations, mass killings, suicides, kidnappings, or what have you. Name it, American society has experienced it or have been victimized one way or another. People who read the papers have become inured and would rather take it with a grain of salt or else resort to taking anti-depressant pills.

The same is true in the Philippines. Perhaps even worse! We have an ex-president who had been convicted of plunder and jailed, pardoned, and still had the gall to aspire for a second chance, reneging on his promise not to run for office again. What gall! We have an army general who is given an easy time in jail pending his plunder case and yet seemingly enjoys yet the sympathy of the Supreme Court. We have an erstwhile Secretary of Agriculture with millions stashed in Swiss banks illegally but but still gets to walk scot-free. We have a fugitive senator who is still in hiding, snubbing the summons of the justice system and yet demands like he's entitled to its recourse. Just for the sake of it, we have to mention the Visconde massacre principal suspects acquitted and the Ampatuans treated with kid gloves toward a possible whitewash over their case.

In the United States, we have a senator who was convicted and jailed and another one reprimanded for not paying his taxes on property abroad. Could this be possible in the Philippines? Not by a long shot!

There is injustice all over the world, inequality before the law. One set of rules applies for the rich, another for the poor. There are criminals being let loose, innocent people thrown to languish in jail. In a nutshell, no matter how a hardworking, well-meaning, president tries, the world in which he serves will remain in a rut of indifference of his constituency to whatever it is that's happening.

And all we do is harp, complain, and demand, as if the world owes us a living.

That is what ails the world.


[About the author. Wilfrido David first retired as Computer-Analyst from the Ayala Group of Companies. He immigrated to the US in 1985, worked there for another 25 years in the Medical Field (Medical Lab Tech), until he retired for the second time. Sometime ago, he was involved with FAANM (Filipino-American Association of New Mexico) as correspondent-contributor-writer-editor, publisher—all rolled into one. He says about that stint, "I ran out of energy, patience, and money but kept on with my duties until the next set of association officers were voted in." The earliest writing he did was for his high school paper in Holy Angel University. His present writing derives from the perspective of a Filipino expat in the US who faithfully keeps up with what's happening in the home country, as gleaned from his Filipino channels on DirecTV, aside from CNN and HLN.]

-Posted: 5:38 PM 2/8/11 | More of this author on eK!
Nextnext