The unsolvable problem

Last week we examined some of the causes of poverty in the Philippines.

One of these was the messy land title issue.

You probably wondered, why doesn’t someone just fix it?

It was be very difficult and any solution would be imperfect – but surely it is possible.

Reform the laws. Send out armies of officials into each region, hold public meetings, use GPS to map boundaries, set up an inexpensive dispute resolution system to deal with all the conflicts.

Back the process up with the national police as required. Catch a few officials taking bribes and make examples of them. Do this also with those who try to subvert the process.

It might take a decade or longer, but with sufficient will, the entire archipelago’s land ownership titles could be cleared up and recorded by the national government.

Many other countries have surmounted this problem. Some of them did it centuries ago without GPS, computers or M-16s to ease the process.

So what’s the hold up?

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The causes of poverty in the Philippines

This will not be a comprehensive explanation, nor will it examine the most meta of causes.

I am not an expert.

This will be a brief look at some of the common problems ordinary Filipinos encounter when they try to improve their situation.

Note to Filipino readers: most of my information comes directly from Filipinos themselves. In fact, they often laugh when one of these comes up and say “Welcome to the Philippines!”

Let me know if I get something wrong or you can add more.

Land title

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Word from the Dark Side – population doubles, Softbank bubbles, Thai temple troubles and a warning to splitting couples

Lips Like Sugar by Echo & the Bunnymen, 1987

HSBC Steals Bitchute’s Assets:

When the Constitution was written, there were no non-governmental organizations so powerful that they could rob us of our liberty in any systemic way. Now that this has changed, we need to hold our legislators accountable to do what needs to be done: Consider large banks, large corporations, large tech companies and NGOs as if they’re arms of the government – because they really ARE. The recently released Twitter files, and public admissions by the Biden administration, that it works with social media companies to “fight disinformation” are evidence enough of this.

Papua New Guinea’s official population doubles OVERNIGHT: Researchers find the country has 17 million rather than 9.4 million:

Source (highly recommended for more photos)

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape had to admit that he didn’t know how many people lived on the Pacific island nation he governed as a study from the United Nations contradicted the government’s previous total . . .

The United Nations Population Fund conducted the study alongside the University of Southampton. Using satellite information and housing data, they were able to correct the mis-reported population estimate.

One thought as to why the population had gone so poorly underestimated is to an increase in people living in the island’s remote highlands. Communities live through subsistence farming, providing for themselves and going unaccounted.

It is also particularly dangerous in the highland areas, with much of the land considered ungoverned and controlled by tribal gangs. 

Once you divide the GDP by this much greater population, PNG comes out as one of the poorest nations on Earth.

This was more interesting that I expected:

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A split in the regime

I’ve been watching the Musk/Twitter events with interest.

So far the revelations have only confirmed that which the observant person already knew, and which some others would refuse to acknowledge even if angels descended from the heavens and trumpeted based tidings into their ears.

I assume my reader is already up to speed and needs no further explanation. If you’re not, go see Elon’s account to read the relevant threads, plus the other WrongThink he’s been uttering over there.

But keep your pants on. Elon is not quite One of Us. He seems like a moderate leftie of circa 1990. I don’t think this is a defensive guise; like other renegades from the Liberal World Order, he doesn’t hold any beliefs that would offend an ordinary person, only an overeducated scold.

This is a man who makes electric cars.

His rockets are cool, though.

Elon’s business seems entwined with the security state, but it is unclear who is more dependent on whom. We may soon find out.

I remind the reader that Elon got in trouble with the SEC more than once for apparently tweeting dodgy information about Tesla, and got away with defaming a cave diving rescuer who he called Pedo Guy (after the man refused his mini-sub as a dumb idea).

He is a brilliant, glass-hearted, capricious, vindictive and difficult man. The kind of guy who’s great for running Twitter but would probably be the housemate from hell.

I doubt many of my readers are strongly pro-Elon. I’m not.

However, we have good reason to support what he’s doing.

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The Silly Games

The modern Olympic Games are gradually becoming less popular.

They’re too commercial, vulgar, drug-enhanced and, more than anything, unfriendly.

There’s one major country in particular whose athletes refuse to demonstrate any goodwill towards foreigners at all, almost as though it’s a point of pride for them to scowl for the whole two weeks.

The games are also becoming expensive and troublesome to host. In 1956, the Melbourne Games were run on a relative shoestring, with many athletes being billeted among local families who volunteered.

By Sydney 2000, new venues had to be built and the whole thing was a massive logistical undertaking, akin to a war.

It’s now gotten to the point that it’s hard to find a city willing to host the games. Security, quarantine, political protests for every cause on Planet Earth, athletes throwing tantrums and all the rest of it.

Who wants that?

Some have suggested that Australia might want it. There’s talk of setting up a permanent home for the Olympics and Sydney was mentioned because those were the last games that went pretty well, despite all the hassles.

This is not a terrible idea, although I reckon a better way would be to rotate the games through three host cities in different time zones: one in Asia, one in Europe and one in the Americas. That way each would only have to deal with it every twelve years instead of every four, thus easing the risk of Olympic fatigue.

We’d have to have assurances from all major nations that (a) they wouldn’t whinge about these locations once we’ve all agreed to them, and (b) that they would not boycott any of them no matter how naughty Australia has been.

Still, I think we’re a bit sick of the Olympics as presently constituted. It’s all become too professional, serious and dull.

It’s no fun anymore.

Therefore, I propose the Silly Games.


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Word from the Dark Side – every city, Canadian pity, tortoise is gritty and a coup not witty

Every Fucking City by Paul Kelly, 1999. Forgot about this one for years then suddenly remembered, still makes me lol, probably because I know several Aussie couples backpacking around Europe who had this experience. The lyrics are brilliant for a quick novelty song that I think was only every recorded live.
Paul Kelly is Australia’s finest songwriter with a massive body of work. Every song tells a story – usually a pretty maudlin one like this, but with a similarly cheerful tone. I might do an article on him one day.

This is the main thing happening this week. Click to see the whole thread:

Another case of a sick Canadian offered death instead of treatment — this time, a veteran.

Woman featured in pro-euthanasia commercial wanted to live, say friends.

Medically assisted deaths prove a growing boon to organ donation in Ontario.

Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending: Report.

Long Covid – exclusively a left wing condition

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Being John Maple Leaf

The leaves are changing.

I enjoy observing the cherry trees, the liquid ambers and so on. Each with its own tints and scents. Merry piles of leaves that are someone else’s to deal with. Some of the trees are bare already, dark jagged arms pointing into the cold grey sky, making an early start on winter, while others in sheltered spots are defiant patches of green among the ocean of red and orange.

But the maple is depressing.

I find it so year-round. In spring, its little green buds are no joy in themselves. We only value them for the glowing embers they will later become. The same is so for the lush summer leaves. We are dissatisfied with these innocent green hues because that is not their purpose.

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