Trump and the storybook emperor

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There used to be a comic strip titled “There ought be a law”. It was a very funny one that made whichever newspaper or magazine that carried it very salable. This time, though, that title came to me after hearing or reading a lot of complaints about fake news, especially those involving officials. Of course we do have laws on libel and other forms of materials written or spoken against anyone in a manner that would affect his or her reputation, but usually the victims just fret and fume , but do not take any action against the purveyor.

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Recently, a city official complained about being the object of such abuse, but, although he grumbled about it, did not, or maybe has not yet, taken steps to make the purveyor answer for his or her damaging statement. I think, though, that if a person who is victimized in such manner, would take the proper legal steps, and see to it that the liar gets his just desserts, maybe that kind of crime would be reduced or even eliminated. For that is a crime, you see, and the law covering it is very specific and the penalty rather harsh.

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Unfortunately for public officials, they often just grin and bear it, not only because going to court would be too much trouble, and expensive, too, so they generally just put up with it. In any case, if ever anyone would say anything wrong or damaging against me or my loved ones, I don’t answer back, I just pray that the one doing it will be subject to the judgement of the Lord, and, indeed, I have seen that happen quite a few times. As for those who have recently been malicious enough to purvey fake and harmful stories about others, they should be careful, because if they are not the ones made to suffer for it, it could be those who are dear to them, which would probably be more painful.

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Really, in these times when we should all be concerned about our health and those of our fellow Filipinos, it is wicked of anybody to engage in maligning others instead of praying for the deliverance of our country and people from this pandemic that has astounded many of the world’s most brilliant minds in medicine and science. Remember that even the wealthiest and the biggest countries are just as confounded as we are in dealing with this COVID that China has contaminated the whole world with. But we who believe that God is just, should bank on the fact that those who are inkind to their fellowmen will be made to account for their deeds when their time comes.

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If there was anything that could have taken the minds of Americans, albeit temporarily, against the effects and death toll of the Coronavirus these days, it could only be the discovery and revelation that their president, who wants to repeat his term, had not been paying taxes as he should have done. Worse, as the New York Times had uncovered, he had paid only $750 in 2016 and 2017! How could a billionaire be so kuripot? And, with that on his recorded, how did he dare run for president of his country? Although our country has also been notorious for graft and corruption, I don’t think we ever discovered or exposed a tax evader among our presidents, past and present!

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And it seems like a double whammy for Trump, because even the taxes he paid in countries where he did business, among them the Philippines, were also uncovered and published. How will he wriggle out of that? As journalist ourselves, we certainly envy the guts and resourcefulness of the New York Times. How they were able to dig up his tax records, when such are supposed to be highly confidential, is amazing, to say the least. Had anybody ever had the guts to make such an expose the late President Ferdinand Marcos during that conjugal dictatorship that we went through? I guess nobody dared, knowing the consequences.

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Meanwhile, how can we avoid, or evade the subject of the raging pandemic when all the media worldwide seem to be focusing on it? The latest reports say the United States has the biggest number of cases, with India a close second! And, worse, the COVID guru, Dr. Anthony Fauci has predicted another rise in cases and deaths soon, with 21 states to be involved. The last figures I noted from TV was 7.1 million in cases with no less than 103,000 dead! And that is the United States, a big, big country, very advanced in all aspects of science and technology!

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I can believe it when I hear comments that the American president is so absorbed in his reelection that he does not appear to be doing much to ensure the health of his people from this pandemic. Also, he is supposedly being fed misleading information by a certain Dr. Atlas. Not the one who is carrying the world on his shoulder? So Trump must be like that emperor in the storybooks who was tricked by two swindlers that they had clothed him with a robe woven in gold, when in fact, he was naked!*

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