What the Mueller Report Actually Says

Here is my sincere description of what’s in it, based on actually reading it, carefully, from start to finish. VOLUME I: RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN Russian Interference was “sweeping and systematic” First, and most importantly, “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” There were two components

America the Beautiful? You Mean America the Pitiful. I Am Ashamed

One headline reads: Trump’s Travel Ban Off to a Disturbing Start.  Another: Refugees Detained, Legal Residents Blocked, as Trump’s Order is Implemented.  As the reports come in of chaos around the world as legitimate visitors to the US, including students, scientists, green card holders, and vetted and approved immigrants, are barred from entry,  — I just

Putin, Trump, and the Russian Influence in the US Election — Act of War, or the New Normal?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Russian influence operation against the American elections. I’ve read and reread the declassified report, and I’ve thought about it from the perspective of both an American observer in 2017 and the perspective of a former Cold War era intelligence officer. I’ve tried to digest all the inputs and

Dear President Trump: Let Us Be Patriots

Therapy exercise for the day:  Dear President Trump, Since the travel ban was enacted last week, protests have erupted and the polarization of America has accelerated.  Like many, I’ve been engaged in social media dialogue and debate about this, and in the course of that debate I’ve learned that there is a fundamental concept that seems

A GOP Lifer Resigns From the Republican Party; His Letter Says It All

As I watched the final night of the Republican convention, I experienced a weird emotional ride. First there was Ivanka Trump, undeniably intelligent, poised, articulate — and apparently compassionate, thoughtful, and “aware”.  She did a spectacular job introducing Donald Trump — so spectacular that I was thoroughly softened up and open-minded to Trump as he

Merkin Muffley For President — Got To Get Me One of These

My all-time favorite movie is in the game for the 2016 election.  Can’t stand Trump. Hate Hillary?  Vote for President Merkin Muffley, played by my namesake, Peter Sellers . . . .who was Merkin Muffley.  Where do I begin? Well, we’re talking about  Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

Duterte: “I may disagree with what you say but I will defend your right to say it. We are in a democracy.”

Ever since it became clear that Rodrigo Duterte was likely to win the Presidency in the PHilippines, I’ve been having a two track reactions.  One one track, I’m excited to see someone who is definitely not “more of the same” take the reins in the rambunctious Philippines, and hopeful that intractable problems may actually seem

Philippine President Elect Rodrigo Duterte — An Exciting, Disturbing, Contradictory Agent of Change

I have to confess, I’m struggling to figure out how I feel about the new President Elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte.  Western Media is calling him the “Trump of Asia” but that comparison only applies to his outspoken and sometimes outrageous statements.  But the similarites end there.  Duterte is a lawyer, a prosecutor, and

America the Fearful? Spineless Yanks? That’s What Excluding Syrian Refugees Says About Us, So Own It

At latest count 24 states, including one with a democratic governor, have declared they will not host Syrian refugees. Why?  Because one of the terrorists who attacked this past weekend in Paris apparently posed as a Syrian refugee.  Am I the only one who just feels sickened at the lack of compassion and lack of

Controversy over Indigenous Lumads Tests Power of Social Media and Resolve of #AlDub Nation

The  headline in the Philippine Daily Inquirer read: ‘Yaya Dub’ misguided in support for ‘lumad,’ says military exec.  The article then goes on to quote Brigadier General Joey Kakilala, who is the commander of the Civil Relations Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as saying of Mendoza and others:   “‘Yung social media support

Two Years On, Thousands of Haiyan (Yolanda) Survivors Protest Slow Pace of Recovery

On the eve of the second anniversary of super typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the central Philippines, thousands of survivors walked  along a highway in Tacloban City from Leyte and Samar provinces. Many carried placards protesting the pace of reconstruction efforts. “It will be the second year anniversary of Yolanda (Haiyan), but many of them have not

Maine Mendoza is More Searched than Yaya Dub — Google

For me there was never any doubt — Maine Mendoza fascinated me as a self-made internet star whose dubsmash genius includes not only what she does in front of the camera — but what she does with the camera as well. I was fascinated by all the characters; by her fearless willingness to present herself

More International Recognition for #AlDub Phenomenon — Straits Times

In one of the better intentational articles about the #AlDub phenomenon in the Philippines, the Singapore Straits Times headlines  “Old Style Love Story has Modern Philippines in a Tizzy.” .  The high point of the article includes some excellent observations: Sociologists and marketers are now poring over this pop culture phenomenon to find out what makes

Heneral Luna Reviewed in the New York Times

Jerrold Tarog’s epic historical film Heneral Luna, which will represent the Philippines in the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film Category, has been reviewed in the New York Times by Ken Jaworski. The review is mixed but ultimately favorable. Here it is: I’m only a little embarrassed at liking “Heneral Luna,” an audaciously manipulative movie that’s

More International Recognition for AlDub — Bloomberg News Video

The latest international media outlet to pick up the story the Philippine #AlDub phenomenon is Bloomberg News. As international coverage goes, this is NOT the most exciting coverage I’ve seen. (That would be an understatement.) But the mere fact of its existence is another indicator that the Philippine phenomenon is rising to the level of

Great Rizal Collage Art by Jeff Huntington

Kudos to Fil-American artists Jeff Huntington for his beautiful Jose Rizal collage. Ironically — the best place to view this particular piece is on a eToday, a Russian website, where he is identified as a “45-year-old contemporary artist with a special recognizable style. Jeff loves Italian food and comfortable shoes …” You can see his

U.S. Embassy Staffers Ride the Pabebe Wave

As some of you know, I served at the U.S. Embassy in Manila from 1986-1989. Have to say I’m tickled to see the Embassy getting into the act and joining in the #AlDub fun. They posted this video of staffers doing pabebe waves and have gotten 210,000 shares on FB. Good for them. A little lightness