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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Joke's On Us

Image is from here.

Funny, but unfortunately the joke's on the voters. But I guess it’s true what they say—we get the leaders we deserve. 
After all, it’s the people who are responsible for putting men and women like these in power.

Reminds me a little of Senator Tito Sotto, (incidentally also a TV comedian) who shamelessly copied parts of his privilege speech from bloggers and is apparently unapologetic about it. He seems to be oblivious of the ethics involve in such matters. 
If he were a student who copied word-for-word some parts of his assignment from the internet, he might get in trouble with his teacher, but that's about it.

But he’s a Senator, for Christ’s sake. So yes, we do have a bit of a situation.

The trouble is, the Senator does not even realize the sordidness and the tackiness of his actions. In his mind, he should not even have to apologize--although his aide made an apology of a sort to the blogger, however lame the apology was.

The Senator, rather peevishly, said: “Why would I copy from a blogger? She’s just a blogger.” He had also disingenuously presented himself as a victim of cyber-bullying, the poor dear. 

His chief of staff, meanwhile, piously declared that what they did was not plagiarism per se, since there are no provisions in this country’s laws that penalize anyone who copied from the internet.  
Smart lawyer, that one. His professors in law school must be very proud of him.

Read about the whole sordid tale here.

But wait, there's more. 
The Senator apparently did it again during another speech in the Senate; this time, he copied parts of Robert F. Kennedy’s speech, and translated them directly into Filipino. When some sharp-eyed “netizen” (the Senator and his staff must be sick of these people) notices this, the Senator said, in his usual classy manner, “Why, did Kennedy know Tagalog?” 
Gee whiz, Senator. How hard could it be to provide attribution? Or maybe, I don't know--cite your sources?--instead of giving the impression that you yourself (or that brilliant staff of yours) came up with those ideas? That sort of thing doesn't work anymore.
We have the Internet now, remember? 

It makes me cringe, just thinking about the whole thing. I am embarrassed for him, really.

Meanwhile, the country’s newly-appointed Chief Justice is telling people that her appointment is from God Himself

Perhaps she is referring to the current President (who was actually the one who appointed her, and who, by the way, also consulted God on whether he should run for President or not), or maybe Thor; but I don't think so. She actually means the Judeo-Christian god.  

The whole thing is surreal.

They use God a lot, don’t they? It is very handy for those in power to claim that God is on their side.

As Seneca said, "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

If the people who are tasked with important decisions that affect millions of people are like these, then we are royally--in the words of Leonard Hofstadter--"attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis."

What should people do, when they have leaders like these?
Probably wait for the next elections to vote for a new batch of jokers out there--of which we seem to have an unlimited supply.

I don't know, maybe we do deserve them.

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