I started the day by updating the Arch linux system. I happily installed linux-4.11.4-1 and reboot to use the new kernel. After 10 hours I got back from errands. I woke up my desktop and it’s prompting me again to do another linux kernel update. This time to update to linux-4.11.5-1. Somebody told me that Arch linux may be the unique distro that treats the linux kernel like it’s a common piece of software to be updated as often as possible.
I’m rebooting to use this newest kernel for the second time in one day. Here goes.
Former FBI director, now private citizen James Comey, testified today in front of the Intelligence Committee of the Senate about the Trump-Russian investigation he once led when he was still in the bureau. He released a paper containing his testimony 24 hours before he appeared. So the press and the Senators know what he is about to say in the public part of Comey’s testimony. They of course, has closed sessions with Comey where they can ask questions with no reservations.
James Comey already leaked his memos to a lawyer friend who in turn released it to the Washinton Post. So we, the public, know the details of his interactions with Trump, the president-elect, up to the point when he was fired by Trump. This is definitely a scandal as big as Watergate. The implications are that a foreign power, russia, interfered with a US presidential election and Trump’s people are continuing to have communications with the russians. That Trump tried to convince James Comey to let Michael Flynn go. That Trump tried to influence James Comey to drop the Trump-Russia investigation. The situation here is this, the americans have a president who is under investigation by his own FBI, so any contact between Comey and his president about the russian investigation is an interference on a current investigation. Comey’s testimony says that the interference is explicit. His reluctance led to him being fired. In fact Trump said so in his interview with Lester Holt of MSNBC.
In the United States, every american who love their country, hold their laws and institutions with respect. No president sits above the law. If Trump did obtruct the law he will face impeachment.
Here in the Philippines, Joseph Estrada who faced impeachment before, returns to politics as mayor of Manila. Wala tayong bait sa sarili. Our institutions are weak. Our laws, well, look at our lawmakers and how they behave. The Marcoses are back in Ilocos and Bongbong Marcos is a member of the House of Representatives. Most Filipinos see these as partisan politics not disrespect of institutions and country. Let’s hold our laws up. Let’s renew our loyalty to the Constitution. Let’s put deserving men and women in Congress. Federalism is not what we need. What we need is to strengthen our state institutions, not destroy them.
That update a while ago broke online accounts. I can’t connect to my google services and microsoft accounts. Online Accounts Service is unable to open Passwords (Seahorse) which has my credentials. Somehow the old links were broken by the updates. So the shortest solution here is to just delete these old links and credetials. I then have to sign-in to my accounts. Present my credentials.
It is now working again. Evolution Mail is connecting all my accounts. Funny but I have three accounts in Evolution Mail. One of the accounts do not depend on Online Accounts and it picked up on the gnupg update. Why can’t this piece of GNOME not pick up the gnupg update? This one account is able to open Passwords And Keys and get its credentials.
I have a new default theme. I have United Gnome Theme – Arch. I like the flat icons theme “flat-remix” that came with it. I’m still not sold to the dark theme making everything more modern assertion though. I like that it works with the Ubuntu font that I love.
United Gnome theme, Chrome browser tabs.
United Gnome theme, Custom Wallpaper, Rhythmbox, Gnome Launcher (left)
Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the whole of Mindanao. What’s stopping him from declaring it over the whole of the country?Marawi City is just an 87 square kilometer area of muslim mindanao. Why not just declare martial law over the city? If the overwhelming reason is the security threat posed by the Maute group, then it would be logical to suppose that the whole of the country is threatened by terrorism. Terrorism of course, isn’t enough reason to declare Martial law. The Constitution lists, rebellion and invasion as reasons for Martial Law not terrorism. Read Article VII Section 18 of the Philippine Constitution. It could be supposed also that the Maute group has international links to a foreign terrorist group, but not a foreign power or state. It’s problematic to argue that IS or Islamic State is officially a state.
Martial law was declared in 1944 by Jose Laurel, during The Liberation, saying the US and the Philippines were at war. Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial law in 1972 after making up an excuse in the form of a rising Communist Rebellion. Gloria Arroyo declared a 9 day Martial law limited only in the province of Maguindanao, after 58 persons including 34 journalists were killed in a massacre related to local politics. It is clear that when leaders declare martial laws, they are owning up to their own failures, to their own realization that somehow they have made a mistake.
What are the conditions that clearly calls for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus? When is it obvious that martial law is justified as seen by the average citizen? An escalation of violence and lawlessness, civilian authority unable to impose its rule, a great disaster where military aid is required to save lives and of course the constitutional conditions of rebellion and invasion. Let us not forget that leaders impose martial law as preventive measure. What kind of leader are you if you let civilian rule collapse in front of your eyes? So the act of declaring martial law becomes a political game of chess – to know succeeding moves.
In the period after the EDSA revolution, Corazon Aquino, endured 10 military rebellions. With freedom comes great challenges to her administration. She also faces an economy in disarray, infrastructure that languished unattended during the Marcos administration, political restructuring from the local level up to Congress and Judiciary. Her inherited military was unaccustom to democratic nuances and did not trust her, the wife of a former military-held politician. Aquino did not declare martial law even as the rebellion reached the gates of her residence.
Abraham Lincoln imposed martial law in the United States during its civil war. He declared martial law against prisoners of war, spies, those who aid the enemy and draft dodgers. Interestingly, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Lincoln’s martial law is unconstitutional in areas where the courts are still functioning.
Just after Duterte declared his martial law, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Maria Lourdes Sereno ordered that all courts in Mindanao should remain open. So what’s stopping Rodrigo Duterte from imposing martial law over the entire Philippines?
Tiananmen Square, China, was the site of unprecedented protests back in 1989. The most iconic image of those days was a man with bags on both hands, in white shirt standing in front of a long line of chinese army tanks. Reports said he shouted “What are you doing to my city?”. The tanks are moving to break protesters. The protesters are mostly high school students, young chinese but also labor and professionals. They want a democracy in China.
I don’t know if the white shirt man in front of the tanks believe in democracy. Is he one with those who are protesting in the Square? His love of Beijing, his city, compelled him to stand in front and blocked a column of tanks.
The brutality of the authorities’ response to the Tiananmen Protests was the frontpage news in every newspaper in the western world. China watchers noted that the Communist Party made some leadership replacements because of it. It is obvious to the chinese communists that those who ordered such repression cannot be seen as representing the whole of the Communist Party, not in the international scene anyway.
Can China learn democracy from the West? China certainly learned how to manage their economy very well. They learned it from the West. China is poised to be the biggest economy in the world. Nothing can stop this from happening, not a Trump Whitehouse or a European Union trying to handle Brexit.
The renovations in unit R6 are proceeding well and ahead of the deadline. Mina is coming home on the first week of July 2017. As soon as her classes end, she’s on a flight home to the Philippines. But let me show you some of the progress so far in the apartment.
Lavatory and Toilet