Because I have said for years, before I started a blog, that the Philippines shows us what can happen when the American three-branch government becomes overrun with corruption. Their ferderal government branches (Executive-Legislative-Judicial) were set-up by us (as they were a colony). And while we cannot blame the good citizens of that country for being ruled by members of the same few families for 600 years, history shows us that there is a tipping point where corruption and the sharp division between the rich and poor becomes virtually impossible to repair.
And last night's news of 7 Filipinos nailing themselves to crosses shows how religion can be radicalized and perverted beyond its already cultish state. In my view, this spectacle, while not representative of the Filipino people or culture, is more brutal than the blood-letting, or Qame Zani, still practiced by a minority of male Shi'a Muslims during Ashura.
Of course, we have religious fundamentalists in the USA. We have pentecostal and evangelical christians who want their government to reflect their religious beliefs, and become a thocrasy.
But I sometimes wonder - do the Philippines shed light on future trends or events? It is a land where some of the poorest people on earth choose to live in a landfill in order to survive. It is the place where Ramsi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed got together and first drafted plans to use hijacked planes as weapons (allegedly after seeing this nightspot). Some of the biggest problems forecast for the 21st century include wars over resources, increased international terrorism (often as a response to the disparity in wealth and resources), the continuation of the AIDS epidemic, and a sharp increase in slum cities. If we know where to look, we can see elements of our future world taking shape today.