Empire State shootings

What the heck is happening America?

Two dead – the shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, and his victim – and nine bystanders injured, all in front of the Empire State Building in New York.  Apparently, Johnson was downsized about a year ago. Today, he returned and shot a former co-worker dead, opened fire on random people before the cops got to him and took him down.

These are desperate times – biblical, I’m sure some would say. Well, today, the world ended for two people and I’m pretty certain it feels that way too for the people who loved them.

What a damned shame.


Who runs things around here?

Media. That’s who runs things around here.

Check out this news report, with this accompanying picture.

In a bid to end speculations, Police Civil Aviation Security-7 Director Ritchie Posadas shared with News 5-Cebu the photo he took before the plane took off at Mactan Airport last Saturday afternoon, when he escorted the Interior secretary.

First of all, Mr. Posadas, that picture shows the plane on the ground. In fact, as the report pointed out, the Nepalese still hadn’t gotten into the plane. If you were approaching this logically, then there are several possibilities which would mitigate against the sweeping conclusion that Bahinting piloted the plane. Bahinting could have piloted the plane off the ground, but in mid-air, could have switched seats with the student, for example, for whatever reason. In fact, Bahinting could have scooted over to give way to the Nepalese immediately after this picture was taken – as unlikely as that may seem. In other words, Mr. Posadas, this picture isn’t worth jack-shit. You probably just wanted a reason to have this picture picked up by the media, with the excuse of just wanting to “end speculations.”


Mr. Posadas is symptomatic of one of the reasons our “official investigations” don’t amount to much. Indeed, this whole Robredo affair has been marked by amateurish investigation efforts.

Think about it.

Instead of getting every bit of usable information from the lone survivor, our geniuses on the ground actually let him go back to the crash site and basically sit on his thumbs after he’d given his one useful bit of information: where he remembered the plane ditched. In the meantime, no one knew what actually happened except from the speculations of a million and one people, none of whom were actually there when it happened. Apart from a statement, allegedly from the survivor, published in a broadsheet, there appears to be no definitive document containing the survivor’s retelling of events.

And how about the Civil Aviation Authority, eh? Coming in days after the crash when they should have been among the first responders. Air crash investigations ought to begin as soon as the plane hits land – or water – to ensure that no evidence is polluted or lost. Finding survivors is essential, absolutely, but that’s someone else’s job. Everyone outside of the SAR teams should be busy doing their own bit of the investigation, particularly in the matter of finding out what the fuck happened. As it turned out, nearly everyone turned into a wailing chorus, wringing their hands fretfully as they waited for divers – who RAN OUT of trimix, for crying out loud! – and being buffeted by every stray rumor.

Now, here’s Mr. Posadas attempting to preempt the investigation with his photograph, with nary a peep of protest from the people who should be conducting the investigation. And besides, who is he to “end speculations?” – as though his mere utterance would establish fact. He may be a responsible officer, but with an investigation being – or about to be – undertaken, Mr. Posadas ought to realize that he is part of the puzzle to be solved, i.e., his involvement in the whole thing will have to be sorted out to determine if he had any responsibility. He was there, after all, and his official title does make it sound like part of the responsibility for keeping things safe would’ve fallen on him.

I could go on and on about how all this is being flubbed by people who ought to know better, but as I said this clusterfuck is really just a symptom of a deeper malaise: the fact that media dictates the flow of everything.

From the very beginning, media exerted a very strong influence on how things were conducted. And because media’s immediate focus was the tragedy – oh, the humanity! – and the quickly growing cult of personality springing up around the fallen Secretary, so too was the focus of official muckity-mucks sharpened to include only those things that fed the media trend: rescue and remembrance.

Again, don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with commiserating with the family, or praising Robredo – but government instrumentalities should have no room for that sort of thing – especially not to the exclusion of the performance of their other, equally important, duties. But then again, what do you expect when too many government entities now conduct their business with an overly eager eye out for how the media will portray them on the evening news?



Technical Glitch says Pia Cayetano

Remember that plagiarism issue raised by Pinoy Templars? Well, Pia Cayetano’s answer has finally hit mainstream media, and it’s a lousy reply.

“I myself am a writer and a blogger. I believe that everyone is due the proper accreditation and the acknowledgment… nakalagay naman po yun sa ating Intellectual Property Code that from the moment of creation…your literary work is protected,” she said in an interview with reporters.

But she said that it’s difficult to cite all of the sources while the speech is being delivered so she just mentions the major source at the beginning and makes sure to insert footnotes where the speeches are uploaded.
“So sinasabi nila na bawat sentence during my speech dapat i-acknowledge ko? Mahirap naman gawin yun during the speech,” she said.

She has a point, of course. But hang on. Wasn’t she part of the chorus that crucified Tito Sotto? Granted that Sotto’s PR people were stupid enough not to have thought of this defense, still, it’s poor form for Pia to adopt such a crudely obvious dodge. Not to mention the fact that, apparently, the official published versions of at least one of her speeches didn’t seem to have any attribution footnotes at all for the allegedly plagiarized passages.

“My staff has told me in some cases dun sa lumang WordPress file hindi po napapasok ang footnotes. It’s a technical glitch and they have made the appropriate corrections,” she said.
“[So due to the] technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she added.

Damn! Apparently the MS Word glitch that prevented Supreme Court Justice Castillo’s attribution footnotes from showing up has infected Pia’s “WordPress file.” Double damn! I didn’t even know that WordPress did footnotes. Seriously tho,’ this is probably the lamest excuse ever. Worse for being nothing but an updated version of an old alibi that didn’t even fly the first time.

And while we’re on the subject, what’s up with namedropping WordPress? Was it an error? Did she mean MS Word? Or was she counting on the obscurity – to the general public at least – of the publishing platform as a means of glossing over her error? Did she maybe expect people to go, “ah, wordpress naman pala kasi. okay.”

She likewise clarified that her speech on “The Status of the Philippines in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” was never delivered on the Senate floor and was just uploaded on her website.
“Unfortunately yung media officer ko akala yung na-deliver kong speech naupload yun again technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she said.
“Sana naman po may konting nag-abala yung nag-blog…that speech was never delivered on the Senate floor…you would see that in the Senate journal,” she said.

Well now, she’s just gone and torpedoed her first excuse out of the water, hasn’t she? In the first place, she says citing sources while delivering a speech was difficult. But if her speech wasn’t delivered, then – by her own logic – there’d be no problem with attributions, right? So, she waves the magic “technical glitch” wand and puts the smoking wand in her hapless – and conveniently anonymous – media officer’s hand. Real classy. Especially since people have been bitching about ‘command responsibility’ and all that.

In concluding her defense, Pia Cayetano whines that the issue had been blown out of proportion. Maybe so. But when she cheered while shit was being splattered all over your colleague over the exact same issue, perhaps she shouldn’t be so quick to complain when she gets some of that same shit splattered all over her.

Karma, truly is digital.

Oh, Harry

I don’t get all the ruckus about Harry’s naked pictures. He’s a 27 year-old guy, for crying out loud! And it’s not like he was parading his crown jewels – yeah, we haven’t heard that joke before – around in public or anything. And he certainly wasn’t caught in flagrante delicto the way Kim Kardashian was.

Instead, what we have is a rich young man, at the prime of his life, partying with an apparently willing girl, in a manner that might make some of us cringe, but is certainly par for the course nowadays. The problem really was that he might not have chosen all his pals very well,just like the rest of us. So, in that vein, I’d like to offer some well-meaning advice for the young ginger prince:

1. Ban cellphone cameras in your royal entourage, boy! – It used to be that the paparazzi were all any celebrity had to be worried about. Now, they’ve got to be careful about even their closest companions. This isn’t to say that celebs shouldn’t trust anyone, but the fact is that even if no one leaked anything on purpose, their cell-cams – and the incriminating photos in them – would still be vulnerable to theft or loss. When that happens, what happened in Vegas sure as hell won’t stay there.

2. Learn to play better pool! – If this was strip pool, then the young Prince can’t play for shit. The idea behind strip anything, m’lord, is to get the wench nekkid, not to end up bare-assed yourself. In any case, playing pool with an inexperienced and possibly inebriated girl while you’ve got your equipment hanging out is a damned dangerous business! – Apparently, that time at Sandhurst has given this royal nerves – err, balls? – of steel, considering that pool balls have been known to bounce out of the table and onto the crotches of unsuspecting bystanders. Why not stick to strip poker? Of course, this knowledge might be why he was standing behind the chick.

And finally,

3. Get some sun! – If you’re gonna rock out with your cock out, you might as well make sure that you look all sorts of hot doing it. You might be a royal, and you might have a bum that’s probably set a good number of people drooling, but it wouldn’t hurt anything if you weren’t such a pasty prince.

In the meantime, if that chick doesn’t work out, you can, call me maybe. :D



*in case you missed it, TMZ owns these photos.

Manny makes more money than Kobe

Amazing, isn’t it? Manny Pacquiao makes more money than Kobe Bryant according to TotalProSports.com. According to the website ranking of the 50 top earning athletes for 2012, Pacquiao made a total of US 62  million dollars last year, netting 6 million dollars from endorsements alone. This put Pacquiao ahead of both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who made 53 and 52.3 million dollars respectively.

Unfortunately, the politician-pugilist only came in a distant second in the list, falling behind his elusive nemesis Floyd Mayweather who rang in at US  85 million dollars. Looks like boxing isn’t the only thing Pacquiao has yet to beat Mayweather at.

Check out the complete list here.