The Economist: Ghastly gurus

But Ms Olen is right to home in on the biggest problem that personal-finance gurus neglect; people earning $20,000 a year will struggle to pay for the basics in life and will simply not be able to save their way to a life of comfort, let alone riches.

$20,000 per annum translates to a monthly gross of PhP 83,000. More Filipinos earning less than half of this amount have been sold stupid get-rich dreams instead of being taught basic, non-commercial, unbiased financial literacy – or incendiary and subversive socialist logic. Here’s a thought-provoking review regarding the world of get-rich pastors and self-proclaimed personal finance experts.

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A happy thought on a depressing day

“Have you ever been depressed, sir?”

Of course. And I had my share of suicidal thoughts and even attempts. But now, whenever my mind drops into an abyss that I can’t see, I just remind myself that I need to pull myself up to eat ice cream because a tub of Double Dutch is pure bliss. (But yeah, any ice cream will suffice.) Depression is a disease of thoughts, and though modern medicine has developed a panoply of interventions to treat mental illness, it is never bad to help one’s self. One happy thought can be a lifeline enough to drag one’s self from the dark side of the mind. I’m not sure if this remedy is for everybody, but I don’t think there is any harm in reminding ourselves of a moment of happiness. Cling to anything that can make you smile, and work it.

Why the revolt in Mindanao would never end

It is because the Philippines continues to delude itself that Bangsamoro is part of the country. The reality is that there are more than one nation in Mindanao, and that only one is favored by the establishment in Manila. The majority of Mindanao’s Christian residents are interlopers, occupants of a land that refuses them. They have never treated the Moro and the lumad people with fairness and with respect to their culture and rights to the land. Maybe this is why Duterte’s fanatics are so “nationalistic” and crazy about their numerical superiority and order – they need to suck national resources to keep the peace, gloss over the immorality of their propositions, and quell dissent from both the mountainside and the mosque. The only way the imperialists can feel “safe” in Mindanao is by reframing the Moro’s desire for self-determination as a glorious war of good against evil, by invoking the “oneness” of the national polity, and by using the military to tame the “indolent,” “heathen,” albeit historical, people of Mindanao.

The occupiers of Mindanao should be guilty and not gloating regarding the unjust imposition of Martial Law – poor guys from some god-forsaken northern province are dying for them when they should be the ones defending the land their grandfathers stole. There can only be one sun in the sky: the Moros, lumads, and Christian interlopers in Mindanao can never live in peace if progress for one means the oppression and suppression of the others, if the government continues to pander to institutions antithetical to secularism and humanism. Rebellion and terrorism dwell where there is injustice and hopelessness. There’s no room for “national unity” if people do not belong to the same nation anyway. Blood to the end – that’s the price of the Philippine state’s dreams of Lebensraum und Drach nach Süd.

#TIL The paradox of human rights and states

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The state is entrusted to uphold, protect, and promote human rights, but the state is also the greatest violator of human rights. Some states, however, do more harm than good – states based on the rule of law that enshrines international human rights principles are less likely to violate human rights than those which are not based on the rule of law (in theory and practice) or based on legal systems that do not adhere to international human rights principles.