0253B: Wisdom of the Desert

Over the years I have repeatedly returned to the wisdom of Frank Herbert's Dune books. After all this time, his words continue to carry quite the weight of truth and wisdom and perhaps even a little prescience of his own. But maybe it is less him having the ability to determine the future and perhaps more his understanding of the many patterns and cycles of human behavior, especially when it comes to government.

The news as of late bring two quotes to mind more than others:

"Knowing where the trap is - that's the first step in evading it."
 - Duke Leto Atreides, Dune

"You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."
 - Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Dune 

When Vice-President Robredo was offered the "co-chairmanship" of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), a lot of folks felt it was a political trap that would put her in a position where failure was inevitable and that could be used against her should she run for president in 2020. And last night's press conference from the President just reinforces how delicate things are given the contradictions of information being denied to her despite this being in line with her role and of course vague efforts to redefine her already nebulous mandate as "drug czar".

And don't get me started on the growing controversies surrounding the upcoming SEA Games. Between the spending data that is already a matter of public record and all the other supposed leaks circulating social media, it looks like folks have been playing quite fast and loose when it comes to disbursing government funds in the name of the event although not necessarily for the sole benefit of the games. And that's a whole different sort of trap, especially with the President doubling down by publicly justifying some of the more controversial expenditures revealed thus far.

I don't even know how to wrap my head around the President's sudden pronouncement to ban vaping along with orders to the police to already arrest people caught vaping despite the lack of an enabling law to back things up. The fact that the police have already drafted orders to put this into action speaks of downright arrogance on the part of the President that (1) no one will challenge this order and (2) that Congress will play catch-up and turn it into law like the rubber stamp lawmakers that they are.

It's certainly proving to be an interesting news week.