Laptop luxury and strained logic

Luxury on the keyboards

A dispute between Sec. Carandang and Rep. Magsaysay leaves one undisputed fact.  The folks in the Palace like Mac for their laptops.  I don’t know about the hapless citizen who can barely afford to go to an internet café to do research, but surely public monies are better spent on generic laptops at half the price.  Unfortunately, the matter is a “political question,” so it seems we have to wait for redress.  It’s a tough world out there, but at least they have Macs.

PS:  On public funds aspects, ABS-CBN reports.

Strained and strange logic

A broadsheet columnist, Mr. Doronila, doesn’t like the investigation of poll fraud in 2004 and 2007.  He believes it is the investigation that damages the integrity of elections.  Huh?  If you suspect a wrong, do you damage the integrity of the right by investigating?

To add to the intellectual injury, Mr. D then writes that two officials of the Administration didn’t properly appreciate the resignation of Juan Miguel Zubiri from the Senate.  Mr. D accuses Sec. de Lima of “political double talk” and “hollow platitudes,” and he writes that Palace spokesperson Lacierda “made his own contribution to official nonsense,” in re the resignation.

Apparently, the double talk is that de Lima was surprised at Zubiri’s resignation, and the platitude is “the cause of truth and electoral justice.”  It seems that Mr. D would prefer that de Lima simply be happy for Koko Pimentel, as Mr. D points out that de Lima used to lawyer for Pimentel (the predicate being that if you lawyered for one before, and you become a public official, perhaps it would be better to just keep quiet).  As to Lacierda, Mr. D thinks it nonsense to say that the resignation is “a way forward to healing the wounds of the past.”

The strained logic – or perhaps the constrained logic – is this.  Mr. D does not or cannot explain de Lima’s surprise; nor does he explain how Zubiri’s resignation might rub the wound even more.  Mr. D could have thought that it was no surprise because Zubiri paved the way for his true election in 2013.  But I doubt if Mr. D can explain why the implied admission of an accessory does not help bring about closure.  (Note: under the criminal laws, one who profits from a crime is an accessory.)

This leaves the reader one awkward conclusion as to why Mr. D doesn’t want the poll frauds of 2004 and 2007 investigated.  As he said, it would “take a heavy toll on the integrity of the Philippine electoral system.”  That’s a strange form of motherhood and bibingka pie.  One antidote to corruption is sunshine; and the singing going on now brings forth the sunshine.  That can only mean that corruption in the Comelec will be less in the future because of the investigation of 2004 and 2007. That is no mean feat.


14 thoughts on “Laptop luxury and strained logic

  1. really? you too with the laptop issue?

    yes, macs are more expensive.

    the mac has much to recommend it. nice software cannot be gainsaid. the virus thing is a good feature.

    moreover, why does this matter? if they have a fixed budget, why cant they decide autonomously what to purchase? if they decide on more expensive laptops, they choose to get by with less of something else.

    the rigidity of govt surprises me sometimes. if you wanna spend more, why not? as long as the overall budget is fixed, who cares?


    1. i love Apple stuff; i’d even buy them once in a while, but it would be a private purchase. but if i were a parent on a fixed income, and a kid whines for an Apple, I may or may not give in. the kid will have to justify to me why “it’s worth it.”

      the reality is that it’s a “political question,” and if we don’t like it, we just vote them out next time. that’s the theory anyway.

      but your theory of almost-absolute discretion within the budget allows apparatchiks to lead the good life, provided they scrimp on what they owe the public. not sure we would want to go there.


      1. my assumption is that people are adults. they know how to do their jobs, and that they have the proper feedback mechanism from their bosses if they dont do their jobs.

        if this is true. they know how to best do their jobs. let them allocate their money how they see fit, right? this cant be an alien concept.this is something all people practice for themselves, and the people they are responsible for, right?

        if it doesnt let them do their jobs well, then fire them. its simple. but they should know how to do their jobs, right?

        in the future, here’s an alternative scheme:
        1_ there is a system wide laptop budget, which depends on what its used for (word processing vs modelling), and general market conditions (inflation).

        2. if, for some reason, a govt employee wants to upgrade, then the money HAS to come from his salary, OR if this is department wide, the department can collectively pay for it by lowering spending on something (say photocopy allocations).

        now, for the specific case of the comm group, i cannnot see how this can lead to “the good life”. these are computers. they arent asking for handbags.


        1. .. last i looked, in PH, there are more children than adults! that aside, i agree with you that if they want fancy, they should pay out of pocket.. there was a time when the HP12 was the status symbol, and folks at some fancy place engineered the budgets so they could have them when a $5 calculator would work just as well. and if you go to a local star bucks, the good life is kids with macs on FB.. cheers!


        2. i c that you are really wedded to the idea that more expensive electronics dont give one productivity advantages. yes, a hand calculator works. but the financial calculator can do so much more.

          i mean by that logic, why use excel when you can write things down in ledgers and hand calculators?

          sure a mac looks cool. but its a successful product not only coz of the cool factor.

          the weird thing is this: when applied to their own lives, they appreciate these things, yeah? but when applied to the govt, they claim, overspending.

          i dont get it.


  2. hi gabby, i guess it doesn’t bother you if your government doesn’t know how to be thrifty.

    i admit i had an hp12C for the status thing. but i did have an hp16c for the computer geek thing (it could do hexadecimals). the latter i paid for myself, as well as for an atari which lost its way in the pc contest. life is tough..


    1. I don’t know.. the good Rep has the Constitution giving her absolute freedom of speech.. but I like what Farinas said at the end of the news clip.. may Mac na, may FAMAS pa.. kasi per admission pina-bid yung contract in a tabloid..


      1. oh, i thought u’d be more contemptuous of rep. mitos’ behavior. her argument is: bakit kayo may (insert product x), and kami sa congress wala? she sounds like a five year old.

        as for the tabloid, as long as its national, it shouldnt matter.


        1. hmmm.. contempt is a slippery slope.. but i agree with you na the two sides are kids acting out in a schoolyard.. but it’s still public money, and i’m glad congress can’t be too “Executive Class”..

          re tabloidals.. it’s procedural cover, hence the FAMAS award..


        2. both of them are childish? how?

          mitos is childish because the only reason she wants product X is coz other people have it. thats childish behavior.

          carandang has arguments, based on products specs. now, people may not agree with the arguments (ie. are blackberries good phones?, etc), but there are arguments. i believe that adults should be able to make their own decisions, and articulate their reasons for them.

          i agree that congress should ask questions. but what KIND of questions? should congress micromanage each decision? note that this isnt a corruption issue — no laws have been broken. they just disagreed with the purchase decision, strange reasons (focus only on cost, why dont i have that, etc…). period.

          i would have thought, prior to this “blackberry/mac” issue that everyone would agree that the correct answer is NO. you hire managers to make decisions. congress doesnt make the decisions on individual decisions, but on total outlay (which is a policy, not a managerial decision).


  3. ok, Gabby, you did not think Mr. C was childish.. Perhaps we can leave that at that.

    as to separation of powers, that’s fine. but as the Prez says, the boss is Us, and as a boss, I think Mr. C is wasting public money. I can’t do a thing about it, other than express my view, and perhaps exercise suffrage when the time comes.

    as to Congress asking questions, in theory they can only in aid of legislation; but in practice, they can do the silliest things when asking questions because they have a blanket immunity against libel, etc.


    1. ok. sorry. i just dont understand how someone can see carandang’s behavior as childish. i was hoping there was a reason; and the reason isnt “coz he bought an expensive computer”. people buy expensive stuff all the time, live within their budgets and we celebrate that as “free choice”. whats the difference? i’m totally confused.


      1. i’m sure you saw it on youtube.. i viewed it again.. now i’m not sure a child could have said “was that a rhetorical question, or did you actually want me to answer that?” since most children wouldn’t know what a rhetorical question is.


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