Whatever you do, don’t stock on gasoline for your generator or car using buckets or anything that isn’t a proper fuel canister.
Last Monday, I stumbled across a social media post that led to a very rare and relevant (at least to me) find: a limited-run book published in 1971, written and autographed by Ferdinand E. Marcos.
On Monday, September 19th at about 3:30 p.m., my friend Tom Leber, a local realtor and manager of several properties, posted this message on Facebook:
Another “what tenants leave behind” story…. One of our commercial leaseholds, which used to be a book store, just moved out and emptied the store into the dumpster in the back. If anyone is interested in dumpster diving for a library of brand new books.
The address was pretty close to our house. A minute later, I was in my car, and ten minutes later, I was facing this beast:
I ended up taking dozens of books on all sorts of topics, but there’s one that’s of particular interest to me: Today’s Revolution: Democracy, written by the former head kleptocrat of the country of my birth (and father of the present head kleptocrat), Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Here’s a photo of the book’s cover, taken against my laptop cover for contrast:
Here’s the first page:
Malacañan Palace is the residence and office of the Philippine president — basically, it’s the Filipino equivalent of the White House in the U.S..
It’s hard to tell if the “With my compliments” autograph is a printed image or an actual by-hand signature, but the next page definitely has a real autograph that looks like it was made with a Sharpie:
The dateline of Honolulu, 3 Sept. 1987 fits — Marcos had fled the Philippines the year earlier after the snap election he declared in 1986 turned into a snap revolution. Luckily for him, the U.S. had no qualms about safely spiriting a friendly dictator away in an Air Force C-130 to Hawaii via Guam, along with the following luggage:
- 22 crates of cash valued at $717 million
- 300 crates of assorted jewelry with undetermined value
- $4 million worth of unset precious gems contained in Pampers diaper boxes
- 65 Seiko and Cartier watches
- A 12 by 4 ft box crammed full of real pearls
- A 3 ft solid gold statue covered in diamonds and other precious stones
- $200,000 in gold bullion
- $1 million in Philippine pesos
- $124 million in deposit slips to banks in the US, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands
(And I thought I “travelled heavy” by flying with my accordion!)
I immediately pulled out my phone and Googled for images of Marcos’ signature, and the signatures in the book seem to match the ones online, right down to the big swoosh after the “s”:
It appears that a limited run of these books were printed, if this inscription after the title page is to be believed:
In a clash with its purported thesis, Today’s Revolution: Democracy starts with a decidely un-democratic addendum in which Marcos explains that he had to suspend habeas corpus (simple definition: the right to be seen by a judge or court before being imprisoned) as a result of the bomb at a political rally of the Philippines’ Liberal Party at Manila’s Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971, where 9 people died (one of whom was a 5-year-old) and nearly 100 were injured.
Nobody really knows who was responsible. Marcos and his cronies blamed radical groups like the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, but most historians and even the CIA believe that Marcos was the one behind it. It’s believed that the bombing was carried out to be the rationale for Marcos’ later declaration of martial law in September 1972 (which got a nod from Nixon, who was told that the Philippines was under communist terror attack), which in turn set in motion my parents’ decision to emigrate to Canada.
The book itself pays a lot of lip service to social and economic democracy, liberal society, “revolution” in a sense that’s pretty close to the American Revolution, and warnings against being blinded by ideology. But throughout the book is a strong subtext where Marcos tells you who he really is: a third-world strongman with the confidence that comes with the backing of the U.S. during the era of the Cold War (the U.S. Air Force had Clark Air Base and a Navy base in Subic Bay).
How did this book find its way from Malacañang Palace to the Marcos’ high life-in-exile (in a waterfront house worth $1.5 million in 1986) in Hawaii to a dumpster in Tampa? There’s probably an interesting story there.
In a new interview with his personal fluffer, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump test-ballooned his latest defense for illegally (and potentially treasonously) keeping U.S. government secret documents on his private gold club/residence:
“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified’.
Even by thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it. … There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be.”
It’s an understanding of secret documents that’s equal to the “I said so” rule of schoolyard games, or perhaps Michael Scott’s understanding of bankruptcy on The Office:
There were over 300 such documents stored at Mar-a-Lago, which is not a facility up to the task of securing such things. The search was a result of an earlier finding of other secret documents at the site.
DeSantis may have been inspired by a segment on Tucker Carlson’s show
A couple of days ago, Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz astutely tweeted that “when GOPers do depraved stuff it’s worth looking for the Fox host who suggested it.”
To no one’s surprise, the Fox host who suggested it was the host of Fox’s own White Power Hour: Swanson frozen foods heir Tucker Carlson, host of an old-timey white–fear-and-rage–stoking evening show.
Anyway when GOPers do depraved stuff it’s worth looking for the Fox host who suggested it. Tucker Carlson, July 26: “[Martha’s Vineyard residents] are begging for more diversity. Why not send migrants there, in huge numbers?” pic.twitter.com/R7Gvj9PsBE
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 15, 2022
The migrants were given fake brochures about Massachusetts’ refugee benefits
DeSantis insists that the migrants boarded the plane voluntarily, but the migrants say that they were misled by a “blonde mystery woman” named “Perla,” who offered them McDonald’s gift cards, a free flight to a “sanctuary,” and other assistance.
- 8 months’ cash assistance
- Housing assistance
- Transportation to job interviews
- Job training
- Job placement
- Registering children for school
- Assistance applying for Social Security cards
Popular Information got the brochure from Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based law firm representing 30 of the migrants.
DeSantis’ communications director Taryn Fenske told Florida’s Voice that the brochure was legitimate and that the information it contained was accurate. However, what she omitted is even more important:
- The brochure was not produced by the State of Massachusetts, nor is it official. It’s a “homemade” document pieced together from cut-and-pasted text from various Massachusetts government sites.
- While the benefits listed exist, the migrants to whom they were given are not eligible for them. While refugees are eligible for such benefits, these migrants are seeking asylum, and refugee benefits don’t apply.
- The devil is in the details. In trying to provide DeSantis with a loophole, Fenske insisted “the brochure does not say migrants immediately have access to the benefits.” But it worked — the idea was to convince them that those benefits were forthcoming, and all they had to do was board the plane.
“DeSantis clearly does not know the legal difference between refugees (who are eligible for resettlement benefits) and asylum applicants (who are not).
It’s legally no different than promising someone who you know to have had no military service that they will be eligible for veterans benefits.”
Cameron also said the brochures “are either evidence of criminal intent or criminal stupidity.” My feeling:
FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) paid a secretive Oregon-based company to fly the migrants, and now that company’s website is offline
Here’s a record of a payment from FDOT to one “Vertol Systems Company Inc.” dated September 16, 2022 for the sum of $950,000. It’s courtesy of the @TampaniaBlog Twitter account:
I’m not sure if anyone sees my tweets but the State has a new payment of $950,000 pending for Vertol Systems! Listed as project #2-3.
A total of $1,565,000 to Vertol for “relocating” immigrants. pic.twitter.com/TJjUA04JKo
— Tampania (@TampaniaBlog) September 19, 2022
Typically, you’d be able to go to Vertol Systems’ site and see that they’re based in Oregon’s Hillsboro rather than Florida’s Hillsborough County and that they’re in the business of “specialized aircraft solutions specific to unique requirements.”
But you can’t. The site has been taken down…
…and quite interestingly (yet unsurprisingly), their LinkedIn company profile is unclaimed:
A Texas sheriff is launching an investigation into these flights, since they were a join operation with Texas
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar confirmed the investigation during a press conference Monday “to clear the air for everyone,” alleging that 48 migrants were “lured under false pretenses” to stay at a hotel for a couple of days, shuttled to a plane, flown to Florida, and eventually transported to Martha’s Vineyard, where they had been promised work and solutions to other problems.
From Sheriff Salazar’s Twitter account:
I have officially opened a criminal investigation against the individual(s) who lured and transported 48 migrants from the Migrant Resource Center in San Antonio, TX to Martha’s Vineyard. If you or someone you know has been impacted, please email email@example.com
— SheriffSalazar (@sheriffsalazar) September 20, 2022
DeSantis’ plan is backfiring
- CNN: Donations poured in and volunteers rushed to help: Here’s how Martha’s Vineyard communities responded to the arrival of migrants
- Episcopal News Service: Episcopal church on Martha’s Vineyard takes in migrants flown in by surprise
- Boston Globe: “At first, they were surprised, just like us.” Martha’s Vineyard responds to surprise arrival of planeloads of migrants.
And garbage human that she is, Christina Pushaw, Rapid Response Director for DeSantis’ reelection campaign tweeted this:
Martha’s Vineyard residents should be thrilled about this. They vote for sanctuary cities — they get a sanctuary city of their own. And illegal aliens will increase the town’s diversity, which is strength. Right?
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) September 15, 2022
Here’s a screencap, just in case she deletes it, as she is wont to do: