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Raoul’s Two Cents: March 8, 2024

Political Pyramid

Warning: A whole lot of politics! Move on to the jokes if you’re not in the mood. I mean it!

Remember the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines? He transitioned from a legally-elected President to a pretentious democratic president when he declared Martial Law at 7:15 p.m. on September 23, 1972. Prior to this, he orchestrated a crime wave that justified this declaration to place himself as the gatekeeper of freedom. Smart move, Mr. Ferdinand.

Not many know this, but in his first years, the Philippines actually made progress. Gone were the bickering among the power-grabbing political low-lifes. Illegal firearms were confiscated and there was less crime for a while. If you bickered too much without “the big guy’s” blessing, you would simply “disappear.” So what caused his downfall? Greed among his cronies.

Marcos was a golfer and his golfing buddies eventually became his cronies. He gave them power — positions in high places. Competence was trumped by loyalty. Among them was Imelda, his idiotic wife of a thousand shoes and a million sob stories. Even a comparatively untrained soldier who came from the same province became the head of his army.

Like a pyramid scheme, only the people at the top of the pyramid benefited. The lower you were in that structure, the less influence you had. At the lower levels, you had wanna-bes who abandoned decency and common sense for power and money and followed orders without question; trusting that they would be recognized and pulled up higher in the pyramid. They were notoriously called loyalists.

TV, radio and printed media were afraid to report the honest news. Comedians, musicians, and even a Marcos impersonator, would make occasional jabs at the administration but there was always the fear of stepping out of line. An imaginary dagger hung precariously above everyone who lived in that country.

When the dictatorship crumbled in 1986, it was no longer fashionable to be a loyalist. A new term was given to them. They were now called balimbings (carambola or star fruit) — because this Philippine fruit has many sides. And these human balimbings had many “faces” — they changed political sides when convenient … they had no backbone. They were disgusting. Many wealthy balimbings left the country in shame. Know any super wealthy Filipinos? Ask if they were loyalists. (However, not all loyalists are guilty. Wanna Ver, General Ver’s innocent daughter, grew up unaware of her father’s behavior and has since tried to reconcile with her past.)

Of course I am simplifying the events of the Marcos regime. As in many history books, this is just my personal assessment. I lived through it.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.” — John 15:18-19

I am sharing this now because I was reading the book of John. And it sent up chills as I am seeing history being repeated. It now makes sense why the peaceful, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are ridiculed and treated disproportionately from the 10 million new illegal refugees (many in New York and Southern California are housed in hotels while American citizens and veterans are homeless in the streets). I can see why the media, the comedians, and other influencers espouse blatant lies … why the judicial system allows crime to flourish. No, they’re not that stupid. They’re afraid. The loyalists in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and other so-called sanctuary cities are the mid-level cronies who hope to be pulled up the pyramid. Let’s not get played by these shouting “Karens.” We’re better than that.

“Speak softly but carry a big stick!” — Theodore Roosevelt

Loyalty to a party, should never be above loyalty to country. If your party falters … if your party changes direction … if your party forgets your rights, that party will crumble and there won’t be a pyramid to hold on to.

But this is just me.

TGIF people!


” If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing. “ — Henry Kravis


Thanks to Art of Pasadena. CA

Parting Shots

Thanks to Tyrel of Chicago

Thanks to Ted of Philadelphia

Thanks to Bob of Placentia, CA

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

Thanks to Larry of La Habra, CA

I found these:

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with this.


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  1. Heather

    March 8, 2024 at 5:12 pm

    Let’s hope that history repeats itself and Trump gets re-elected and does what he did before. And that was to start collecting from countries that never paid there fair share and only Looked for $$$$ from us. We’ve supported so many countries and we’ll never get out of the hole. The State of the Union message was the worst I’ve ever heard. And all Biden did was lie lie lie.


  2. Tom

    March 8, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks Raoul

    Great Intro on what you lived through. I never knew all of that and found it fascinating.

    Our Pastor and his family were chased out of Cuba by Castro and being exposed to dictators and surviving is an experience only told properly by those that lived through it. Congratulations. Tom


  3. Larry

    March 8, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    I am from Chicago. Under Mayor Daley, we knew about corruption and political cronyism. When I was growing up, there was only one Republican in the assembly.

    Everyone remembers the 1968 convention and the riots.

    Your discussion of Marcos triggered this response.


  4. Oscar

    March 8, 2024 at 5:21 pm

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick: — Theodore Roosevelt.

    I like that and Teddy ironically around 2011 Teddy started popping up on my computer and that’s how I found out about him.


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