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Barbara Bush in a file photo during a taping of “Sesame Street.”


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WE join the rest of America in celebrating the life of former First Lady Barbara Bush, 92.

Of the U.S. First Ladies that I have observed since I arrived in this country almost four decades ago, I admired Barbara Bush the most.

The late First Lady’s legacy is her promotion of literacy in American families.

I am lifting a few paragraphs from a website about her and her passion at https://www.bushhoustonliteracy.org/legacy/.

“Mrs. Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush.

“A tireless advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush has helped countless charities and humanitarian causes throughout her years in public life, though her primary focus has been promoting family literacy.

“Recognized fondly as the ‘First Lady of Literacy,’ she began championing the literacy cause while in the White House. In fact, Mrs. Bush played an integral role in advocating for the passage of the National Literacy Act of 1991.

“She has continued to advocate for universal literacy for the past 25 years.

“Mrs. Bush is passionate in her belief that everyone has the right to read.

“She believes that ‘Most of our nation’s problems would be solved if every man, woman and child could read, write and comprehend.’ With this in mind, she set out to raise awareness across America about the value of reading and learning, a requisite for having an equal chance to succeed in life.”

Eternal rest.


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Let’s proceed with our opinions on recent developments around us.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote a disturbing line in her recent article in the editorial page of The New York Times.

The former head of the most important office in the executive department said that dictators in the world (though, she did not name names, she apparently included PH President Rodrigo Duterte in her list), have used President Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions.

Then, she asked: Will we stop Trump before it’s too late?

We will leave this subject here.

Read our editorial where related topics are discussed.

We know that America is waiting for the final outcome of the Robert Mueller Russia investigation.


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Speaking of Russia, historical rival of America, which, I don’t think can be trusted in the political arena.

If it is true that Russia has a department that employs trolls that does propaganda work for Russia around the world, is it possible that part of the work of these trolls is to promote chaos and divisions among the people of their rival countries?


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Confusing inconsistencies

Many years ago, I took a bus tour of New York City.

One description that our tour guide said of NYC was that it was “a city of contrasts.”

One reason being that some areas were clean, while other areas were dirty or littered with bags of garbage.

In many ways, Philippine President Duterte can also be said as “a person of contrasts.”

At times, he is sounding nationalistic, but at other times, he is virtually giving away the Philippines, especially its territories in the West PH Sea to China.

At times, he would say he doesn’t need foreign government monies, but at other times, he would say he needs China for its monies and that’s why he loves its president (Can’t memorize the name).

At times, he would always say he is against drug lords, but at other times, drug lords are cleared of drug charges.

At times, he would warn government employees to stay away from corruption, but at other times, he would merely transfer to other government offices personnel who are said to be involved in questionable (corrupt) acts.

At times, he would say he is pro-life, but at other times, he is anti-life by ordering his police to “kill, kill, kill.”

At times, he would say he observes the rule of law, but at other times, he is accused of ignoring (selective) some laws.

The list is long.

This president’s consistency, therefore, is his being inconsistent.


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Countering critic countries, Australian activist and human rights advocate Sister Patricia Fox and the Catholic church for criticizing his bad human rights record, President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly said that the Philippines could survive without money from foreign governments.

“Eat your money. You can have your money. We will survive...,” Duterte supposedly said.

Is China not “foreign country” from this president’s perspective?


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The ongoing campaign of the Duterte government of arresting, detaining and deporting foreign activists who are pro-democracy and pro-human rights (like Australia’s 71-year-old Sister Patricia Fox) seems to manifest how President Duterte is careful for any piece of information about his bloody and cruel anti-drug campaign not to reach the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is examining his liability, if any, for crimes against humanity.

If found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in prison in the Netherlands or a prison term of up to 30 years, according to ICC Q & A.

An opposition Filipino congressman remarked, “The Italian activist’s (Filibeck) deportation only shows how paranoid this government is in keeping the rest of the world blind from the damage President Duterte has done to our country.”

It would be extremely difficult for Mr. Duterte to hide EJK evidences, assuming that is his intention, because the international press has been aggressively writing and has published detailed stories (with photos and videos) about the so-called extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Reuters won a Pulitzer Prize for its story about extrajudicial killings and killers in Quezon City.

The ICC could use such news reports in its work, especially under the current situation when President Duterte ordered his police not to cooperate with the ICC.

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