what i read: cultures & boundaries

In an effort to reboot my blog, I’m rounding up (yet again) things I’ve read (both on and off the internet) these past handful of days. I’m slowly easing out of a writing rut, in a manner of speaking.

Here we go.

The creeping normality of extrajudicial killings (Inquirer, Randy David)

The Duterte administration, in contrast, seems to mobilize public fear, resentment, and desperation in order to build a consensus around a project of national cleansing and reconstruction. This project does not require martial law; it only needs manipulated mass enthusiasm for it to succeed. How it is actually carried out appears to be determined less by the logic of existing institutions than by the trusted leader’s instincts. Its most devoted army, as we have seen, is to be found, not in the military camps, but in the social media.

Something that needs to be keenly watched in such developments is the easy resort to brutal means whose redemptive promise effectively shields them from legal or ethical scrutiny. Confronted by these daily killings, we need to constantly search ourselves for explanations for our indifference and inability to be horrified by repeated violations of fundamental constitutional rights. We must resist the tendency to accept these killings as the new normal, the final solution to the overwhelming crisis of crime and corruption that has long gripped our society.

For it is foolish to suppose that the problems demanding this kind of extraordinary response will be confined to the drug menace or the corruption of government officials. I think it is just a matter of time before anyone or anything that could be described as a threat to the wellbeing of the nation becomes fair game.

Young Blood: Not a crime (Inquirer, Diane Marie Arandia)

Do not teach your daughter to cover up. Instead, teach your son that everyone is to be respected regardless of gender and sexuality.

Key points of the arbitral tribunal’s verdict on PH-China dispute (Inquirer.net, Matikas Santos)

In a 501-page award, the Tribunal decided in favor of the Philippines and said that China does not have historic rights to the South China Sea and that their “nine-dash line” claim has no legal basis.

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