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Certifiably insane

Driving up East Service Road from Muntinlupa to Bicutan this past Saturday morning, I realized something. The amount of traffic was pretty much like pre-Covid. Things always get sloppy at Sucat interchange and again at Walter Mart. But there was something missing.

Perhaps it is part of the pandemic lockdown aftermath but for being some 60 days before the election, it was different than in 2016. How many vehicles did I see? Maybe not hundreds, but certainly many dozens.

Forest P. Gill, a silkscreen printer from Kansas City, is credited for developing the bumper sticker. Campaign bumper stickers were first used in the 1952 election between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson II. However, the first widespread use was to advertise nightclubs and circuses, so being used for politics makes perfect sense.

Back in the good old days—pre-Covid, pre-war—of 2016, it seemed like every other vehicle had either a Yellow Ribbon or some sort of a “Du30” sticker. This time I did not see one car, jeepney, or truck with a campaign decal. In fact, except for a few posters for local/Senate candidates and one long “Lacson-Sotto” plastered wall, you would not have known there was a national election.

Even most newspapers are fairly well balanced in the amount of coverage of the elections with other news. That is except of course for the opinion columns and one certain online news, which are “All Politics All The Time.” The other “All Politics” is in SocMed where the election is going to be determined—or already has been determined—according to some experts.

Maybe the lack of “bumper stickers” is due to a change in campaign practices because of the Internet. My Son #4 offered another thought that in their “real lives,” maybe many people are more concerned with trying to get back to normal than the election games. However, you must admit that for live singing and dancing entertainment, there is no better or cheaper venue than a “Grand Rally.”

I will assume that you are a normal person that recognizes when things seem out of focus or even weird. Notice this article from The Atlantic magazine. The Atlantic is one of the most prestigious US magazines, owned by Steve Jobs’s widow Laurene (net worth approximately $22 billion), which started before the US Civil War.

The magazine is a critical read—as is the New York Times—for those who consider themselves to be elite and socially/politically “progressive.” The headline: “On Top of Everything Else, Nuclear War Would Be a Climate Problem.” What follows is a 1,200-word treatise, with the conclusion that not only would dropping nukes be a big problem but that “we don’t tend to think of nuclear war as a climate problem.” It is a “climate problem” not because of a nuclear winter but because rebuilding the world would require using fossil fuels since apparently you can’t make enough steel and concrete using only wind turbines. That assumes there would even be any wind or solar farms left.

Then we come to another example of modern-day thinking. The political role model for the millennial generation and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said this, “We have financial sanctions and yet we finance Russia’s war by purchasing oil and gas from Russia. We have to get rid of the fossil fuels as soon as possible and end all imports of Russian energy supplies well before 2030.” That’s good to know. Putin can rely on the EU footing his war bill for another five years or so.

It is a crazy geopolitical world right now and it is only going to get farther and farther from sanity. Today, March 15th, is the Ides of March and a turning point in one of the cycles. While you may agree with me that geopolitics is certifiably insane, wait until you see what happens next to money.

E-mail me at mangun@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis provided by AAA Southeast Equities Inc.

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