Archive for the ‘ecology’ category

U.S. GOVERNANCE FRAGMENTS, OBAMA’S RATIONALITY DWINDLES

December 1, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to all ye global citizens! Magandang araw sa mga kapamilyang global!

The Republicans have recently slam dunked the Democrats in the House electoral contest. This update event has put a closure to Democrat dominance in US governance, an event that will highlight brinkmanship of a dangerously destructive path.

News have been disseminated worldwide that Obama fired his highly trusted economic aides. With no team to recline on in the White House, Obama is compelled by the situation to rely more and more on the likes of Gates of the defense community, Clinton for foreign policy, and other powerful figures inside the cabinet and senate other than the economic aides.

The people whom he relies upon at this time represent distinct voices of diverse ideological persuasions. The defense Establishment is very strongly neo-conservative (read: fascist), the diplomatic community is Wilsonian liberal (center to Left), and the Senate Democrats are liberal obscurantists.

The nationalists, or those articulators of regulation and protection of American economic interests in domestic and foreign policies, have been marginalized all of a sudden. Perhaps their advocacies will be taken over by the more Rightwing Republicans in congress and the bureaucracy, Republicans whose protectionist mindsets translate to protectionism for Big Business and the oligarchy.

Obama’s feat has been to curb the ceaseless economic downspin via the stimulus program. However, unemployment and poverty incidence continue to rise, indicating the flaws in social policies. Health care and war commitments continue to generate rabid detraction.

The question we’re raising this time is: how far governable is the government of the United States? The potency of governance institutions is being weakened by the year, and the direction of that weakening is towards a fragmentation of governance altogether.

I do recall having endorsed Obama’s candidacy to Filipino-Americans and their compatriots there. The reason was that being unencumbered to oligarchic interests, Obama can make a change in policy directions both domestically and internationally. A re-institution of New Deal policies, hopefully, can be effected by his regime, an audacious act that can be emulated by the other countries.

I expected that the Obama regime will re-carve U.S. policy environment towards re-structuring the economy, reviving the physical economy, and quashing predatory finance. Alas! Signs are aplenty that the feats didn’t go that far as expected!

Now the Republicans are back in the legislature and local governments, and so observers better anticipate brinkmanship jettisoning to higher altitudes. The result would prove catastrophic to America altogether, as the exacerbation of lowly governable state surfaces.

A similar fragmentation is now happening among European states and Japan, a development that could prove to be frightening. The situation will also be enormously puzzling to political scientists and sociologists who are deeply mired in ‘re-inventing governance’ paradigm line, a paradigm that is replete with flaws and imprudent peddler of the illusion of ‘end of ideology’.  

Political scientists and sociologists hold a similar contention that America’s civil society had badly fragmented. Such a lamentable situation has eroded the ‘social capital’ of citizens and folks, thus disabling their capacity for leveraging the state and market for greater social goods and services.

With state institutions and governance further weakened and an economy that has deteriorated across the decades, a weak civic life for Americans means they have to anticipate the worst yet to come in their access to social, economic, and public goods.

Obama’s very own sanity or psychological health could be deteriorating now, a fact that will undermine his own capacity to grasp grassroots reality and facts-of-life. Such a deterioration of psychic ‘wealth’ is the least that Americans expect nor dream of, and bodes a dark age for the Saxon power up north.

[Philippines, 29 November 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

ERLE ARGONZA SUSTAINS WORLD ALLTOP BLOGS ASCENT!

November 27, 2010

Magandang araw! Good day to all endeared fellow global citizens!

A truly gladdening news has been breaking the cybersphere of late. Prof. Erle Frayne Argonza, a social analyst and self-development guru from Manila, has been continuing to gain mileage in his magnanimous efforts to enlighten humanity about the current social and cosmic issues.

To date, dozens of online newspapers and magazines across the globe have featured Prof. Argonza’s writings on their very own websites. Championing the causes of peace and global cooperation, Prof. Argonza has continued to reach out to enthused readers, writers and spiritual seekers. The latter contributed to the upsurge in the numbers of citations of Argonza’s writings aimed at accelerating awareness-raising.

For your reads and exchange of notes about Prof. Argonza’s blogs, please visit:

SOCIAL WRITINGS:

https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

 

WISDOM WRITINGS:

http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

 

ART & POETRY:

http://erleargonza.wordpress.com, http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

 

Join now the growing numbers of global citizens who find Light in Prof. Argonza’s englightening blogs!

Argonza & Associates Consulting

November 2010

 

 

TOP BLOG SITES:

 

http://thedailyreviewer.com

http://humanitariannews.org

http://www.nonprofit.org

http://sociology.alltop.com

http://clpl-india.com

http://pul.se

http://asiafinest.com

http://newestnews.net

http://topcityblogs.com

 

CITED ARGONZA BLOGS FOR DIVERSE THEME DISCUSSIONS & ANNOTATIONS:

 

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://artsandsciencesfilipiniana.blogspot.com

http://asean-society.org

http://awakento1.org

http://bedico.multiply.com

http://benjaminmangubat.multiply.com

http://blissnbaguio.multiply.com

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://blog-yemek-tarifi.com

http://boardreader.com

http://botd.wordpress.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://cc.bingj.com

http://cewek-cantik.com

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://connect.in.com

http://csmotes.com

http://culturalrelativism.blogspot.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://domainsbyip.com

http://dprogram.net

http://dumiabimdanbella.info

http://eastasiaforum.org

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://en.wasalive.com

http://esthernababan.blogspot.com

http://eternalgodliness.punt.com

http://ewss.ifrance.com

http://extrafastnews.co.cc

http://facetopics.com

http://forum.prisonplanet.com

http://forumpolis.com

http://fototoday.net

http://garneringrightideas.com

http://globalbalita.com

http://groups.google.it

http://hubpages.com

http://iamretromanila.multiply.com

http://jeffmahonc.com

http://jk22.blogspot.com

http://josephparton.com

http://koha.nip.gov.ph

http://lanaodelsur.inetgiant.com.hp

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://lovingenergies.spruz.com

http://luciotanwatch.blogspot.com

http://marketingkristin.ning.com

http://maryraab.wordpress.com

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://mountzion.ning.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://nonprofits.info

http://nuip.net

http://omgili.com

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://paper.li

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://penditasuvarmabhuni.blogspot.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://politekon.blogspot.com

http://psychicdirectory.wallwack.com

http://pulitika2010.wordpress.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://r-domain.net

http://shopswissskydiver.net

http://surchur.com

http://tibak.freeserver.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://tweetmeme.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://wordsdomination.com

http://www.123people.com

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.aidworkers.net

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.asean-society.net

http://www.asiafinest.com.br

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.buildhome.tizo.pl

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.davidicke.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.drunkduck.com

http://www.elib.gov.ph

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.fiskedepan.se

http://www.godlikeproductions.com

http://www.hcrefund.com

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.jamesoo.com

http://www.linkedin.com

http://www.longislandrealestatecentral.com

http://www.lowongankerjajulis.com

http://www.mb.com.ph

http://www.mixx.com

http://www.mode.org

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pakspectator.com

http://www.peekyou.com

http://www.pep.ph

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.politicaltaxes.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.untitledarchive.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wallcloud.net

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://www.yasni.co.uk

http://www.zitrend.com

http://www.zoominfo.com

http://www3.mbl.sp1.yahoo.com

http://vd.finline.2y.net

http://yasamkadin.com

http://yoga-experts.info

 

 

 

ASEAN ADOPTS RP’S NAUTICAL HIGHWAY

November 21, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to you all! Magandang araw sa inyong lahat!

Let me return to the ASEAN, after delivering my kudos to Latin Americans and Brazilians over the presidential victory of the socialist Madam Rousseff there. How I wish that the ASEANians can emulate the audacious social policies of Brazil under the stewardship of the outgoing leader Lula and incoming Rousseff.

For the good news, the information has already been disseminated that the entire ASEAN is adopting the ‘nautical highway’ program of the Philippines. Accordingly, the planning stage for a regional nautical highway is now under way, with the program most likely implemented way before the 2015 economic integration here.

A brilliant idea, the nautical highway concept was actually hatched by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the previous president of the Philippines. A technocrat-politician, Arroyo surely found a remedy to the sluggish and inefficient transit of people and cargo across the seas in the archipelago.

To recall, Arroyo was an economist and academic before she joined government. As president of the country, she achieved the feat of solving the fiscal problems and doubling national income within a 9-year span. The Philippines finally graduated to middle-income country status during Macapagal’s incumbency.

Infrastructures also expanded by many folds during Arroyo’s incumbency. Roads, wharves, airports, levees, dams, and diverse public works benefited immensely from the boom years of her aegis. Within the context of the transport infrastructure programs did Arroyo conceptualize the RORO (roll on-roll off) nautical highway.

Executed with very high success levels, the nautical highway proceeded to deliver the expected result of accelerating the transit of people and goods across the seas. The RORO also brought down the cost of ship transportation, hence engendering a more mobile poor folks who could nil afford long distance travels.

As already elucidated in a previous article, it would be excellent if the nautical highway would be interlinked with a forthcoming regional railway. More excellent if the nautical highway, roads, railways, and airports would be interlinked in such an exquisite design of transport hubs.

ASEAN-wide planning takes a longer time than national planning, as there would be a preference for consultative process in the planning exercise. Let’s just hope that the planning phase won’t take longer than 1 & ½ years at the most, with the final output passing through a last grassroots or community hearing for discussions and feedbacks.

That means that as early as 2012, the regional RORO will be implemented. Infrastructure, technology, and logistical support will need to be installed and/or allotted by the 1st quarter of 2012 to ensure fast implementation of the program.

With the program implemented, hopefully the poor folks in the coastal areas won’t have to travel to islands of other countries by risky motored banca or canoes. The RORO ships would bring down risks, travel costs, and make travels very comfortable for poor folks and monied middle class alike.

This analyst highly appreciates the latest ASEAN collaborative efforts for building a regional nautical highway. May the planning, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation of the future program come forth with stunning success.

[Philippines, 16 November 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

ASEAN LAND BRIDGES & RAILWAY SYSTEM

November 12, 2010

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Magandang umaga sa lahat! Good morning to everyone!

This analyst will continue on the ASEAN theme and will focus on road networks & railways for this piece. The region is now preparing the foundations for its conversion into an economic union by 2015, so it would be a productive engagement for citizens of the region to put forward their ideas about how to let the region grow and prosper, such as the idea about land bridges articulated here.

Each member country of ASEAN is now developing infrastructures at different paces, thus rendering each country with gaps in terms of road networks and railways. Such I gap, I believe, can be narrowed if the entire region will conceptualize, design, and begin laying down today the foundations of a region-wide road network.

The grand project can be dubbed as ‘land bridges program’ for the goal it can aspire to attain: that of linking all of the member countries into interfacing and interloping highways. There will be defining expressways in each of the countries that will then be integrated, expanded, and closed gap where certain spaces lack them, thus creating a seamless expressway serving as ‘land bridges’ across the entire region.

Running parallel or inter-linked with the road network would be a gargantuan railway system—of maglev technology—that will be part of the land bridging efforts. Transport hubs can be constructed in certain areas where the road facilities and railway can interface. Each member country can choose to link up its railways (running on electricity and diesel) with the regional maglev to comprise a yet another complex network with awesome potency for stimulating growth.

Such a grand project, which when interlinked further with the Mekong integrated project, will serve as multiplier effect in stimulating growth and development for all of the member countries without exception. The flow of peoples, goods and services, and investments across borders will thus increase by many folds, propelling further the generation of wealth for the union.

With the ASEAN central bank and ASEAN development bank running by 2015 and onwards, it becomes facile to fund the gargantuan land bridges project. The implementers will include private construction & development companies in the region as well as banks that can fund the project’s phases from the side of the private builder-constructors.

The project will enhance the synergy of trucking, train, and shipping down the ground and waters. Such effectively done, there will then be a reduction of moving people and goods by airplanes that can then have greater space for mobility.

The land bridges project can spur more ambitious civil engineering, so that civil works can move on to build tunnels beyond 2 kilometers below the ground. The same engineering efforts can then build tunnels across islands and help to ease out the burdens on ships as the link between island components of the road network.

The same project can also facilitate the inter-connection of the ASEAN to a new ‘silk route’ now rising across the Asian continent. The entry points will be India and China, which the union can cooperate with in building linking infrastructures. With such a possibility turned into reality, one can travel by road and trains from Luzon in the Philippines onwards to the Europe, permitting enjoyment of wonderful landscapes across many lands.

Movements of peoples, goods and services to and from the giant neighbors will also move up by many folds with the land bridge project linked up with the ‘silk route’. Ships and planes can be unburdened a bit by such a twist of development, and can then accommodate more goods & services for other continents and regions.

Regional institutions can be erected to design, manage, and regulate the conduct of construction as well as future traffic along the expressways and the railways flows. There should be transparency and efficiency in the bidding of contracts, so that early enough the governance components of the future political union can already be erected.

It is very likely that the project will be highly welcomed by the peoples of the region. The business sector, notably the constructors & developers, could hardly wait to dip their hands into it as soon as the call for participation by the ASEAN will be in place. It will surely leapfrog the region’s catching up with the developed world and with China, rendering it a potential global economic power in the foreseeable future.

[Philippines, 11 November 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

$100B MEKONG INTEGRATED PROJECT TO BOOST ASEAN POTENCY

November 8, 2010

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Magandang araw! Good day!

Around two (2) years ago, I articulated in one article the gigantic project that will rise in the Mekong River very soon. I was at that time already very supportive of the project, a support that I will re-echo at this moment.

For those unfamiliar with the project, a plan was hatched at the middle part of the decade for an integrated project along the Mekong River. Since the river begins upstream at the China side, China logically has to be involved in it. Finally, with blueprints for implementation on the go around 2007 yet, China committed to fund the projected cost of $100 Billion.

So huge a project, it will have couples of components into it. Power generation, irrigation, flood control, transportation, and tourism comprise the core sector components. A project of that size is four (4) times bigger than China’s own 3-Gorges Dam (it cost $23 at 2000 price index) and could be the largest that the world will ever have experienced once fully accomplished.

Benefiting approximately 300 million beneficiaries along its courses, the project is bound to spur development and generate incomes many folds larger than its total investments. If we use the econometric index of annual income yield that is 10X, then we can expect an annual income yield of $1 Trillion from out of the upstream and downstream industries induced by the project.

Since China is involved in it right now (as implementation is going on), then we expect China to receive the ROI (return on investments) in the widest expanse of benefits possible. That means, once fully operational, China will infuse more investments in the region to fully benefit from the project alone. The ROI will then be much greater than the original $100 accruing to China alone on an annual basis.

We can therefore hope for an excellent win/win situation for China and the ASEAN countries involved (Vietnam is the lead country executor). In the long run, we should hope that the same project would accrue to the growth & development of the entire ASEAN region that is bound to institute an economic union by 2015.

A win/win formula for the ASEAN itself is for it to use the Mekong project as exemplar to design and implement similar projects in other member countries, particularly in island southeast Asia. A particular office can be created in the ASEAN secretariat to oversee and help similar projects that can spin off in other parts of the region.

Since an ASEAN central bank is due for institution by 2015, let us expect that monetary instruments for financial packages can be had for gigantic infrastructure projects of the magnitude of the Mekong project. Probably an ASEAN Development Bank can also rise alongside the central bank, thus reinforcing the potency for launching gigantic projects that will be financed internally by the region itself.

If ever the ASEAN will wish to tap other countries for co-financing of the projects, it should be the emerging markets as top priority such as China, India, and Brazil, countries that will be more sympathetic to regional development. The option will help us veer away from the mal-intents of Northern banks that tied up developing countries in debt peonage and won at the expense of the developing countries.

As a matter of goodwill, ASEAN should better enter into the picture and look at other facets of the project that the future union can fund. The expansion phases of the Mekong project, for instance, can be taken over by the ASEAN itself, thus lessening dependence from external funders.

There are always pains to any large project, these being part of the costs of any undertaking. Nonetheless, the Mekong project should be supported and must go on until full completion. This will render it as an exemplar just right in time for the creation of the ASEAN economic union by 2015.

[Philippines, 05 November 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

FITNESS NEGLECT & INCAPACITATION

October 5, 2010

FITNESS NEGLECT & INCAPACITATION

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang gabi sa mga ka-global citizen! Good evening to fellow global citizens!

It’s now night time as I compose this piece, which is a sequel to the article written earlier titled “Fitness Program & Capacity-Building.” From capacity-building impact I now move to incapacitation as a most likely effect of a neglect of fitness program.

You see, if you really wish to find out about the incapacity that results from fitness program neglect, just visit a hospital and inquire from the epidemiology department whether those who frequent hospitalization have a great deal to do with the lack of fitness regimen. Fix the age limits to those past 30 years old. Chances are that you’ll get the same answer as you verify the matter from one hospital to another: neglect of fitness results to health risks and frequent hospitalization.

Now, go out to a shopping mall and let your eyes scan the people inside the building. Make finger counts as to how many overweight persons there are for every ten (10) shoppers and/or mall visitors. Go up and down the mall, turn your eyes to the left and right, in front of you and behind you, and you’d truly get the shock of your life to find out the fact that overweight is a deadweight reality in today’s fast-paced urban life.

When I visited the USA in 2000, ‘01 & ‘02, I got the shocker of my life for witnessing a humungous quantity of warm bodies afflicted with obesity. My eyes just couldn’t believe how appalling the lifestyles of people are in America, with as much as 2/3 of people in a mall, transport hub or office building manifesting obesity. If only the late Pitirim Sorokin were alive today, he’d faint with disbelief that he could have missed out on obesity as among the indicators of the Crisis of our Age (his classic book).

How appalling indeed urban life and the rat race have made out of today’s habitués across the world, with the USA seemingly taking the lead. My own country, the Philippines, has an incidence of 25% obesity and that could be under-estimated as the figure is moving rapidly to 30% (per Department of Health reports).

The Department of Health technocrats in Manila have already raised the alarm bells in the media over the rising obesity incidence. But alas! No one seems to be paying attention to the experts, as the peoples’ eyes are made to focus on the hunger incidence which afflicts around 20% of the population (poor folks largely). Contrast the hunger of 20% to the obesity of past 25% and you know which figure is indubitably larger.

The absence of a fitness program is truly debilitating, as per my own experience. So dedicated to my grassroots development work in 1981-82, I neglected my physical program and resorted to every kind of rationalization for that neglect. Along the way, I contracted falciparum malaria while doing the rounds of program monitoring of small towns for my employer (Ministry of Human Settlements).

The malaria could have gotten into my veins as early as 1981 yet, but since I was still fresh out of college then (I jogged and walked a lot till graduation time in Oct. 1980) the effects of my previous regimen were still working on my system. Then, came August of 1982, a deadly fever struck me cold turkey that rendered me pathetically bedridden for over three (3) weeks. I almost died from that ailment, which was diagnosed as malaria falciparum.

I had repetitive attacks of the malaria fevers for many months to come, and so I had to be armed with quinine pills at all times. At one time, in early ’84 (I was already beginning graduate school), the fever was so high that it knocked me out unconscious while taking a pee in our apartment’s toilet. I was so lucky then that my friends and siblings, with whom I shared the apartment unit in Manila’s suburbs, were around, so they quickly plucked me out from the toilet (I was still unconscious) and rushed me to the nearest hospital.

Do reckon that I was already beginning with a renewed fitness regimen since late 82 yet, but to no avail! See what inroads of a degenerative disease can do that it can knock you out even if you’re back in the trails of fitness programs. It took some three (3) more years before my body stabilized completely, and no more malaria attack came since then.

But the parasite is with me forever, and I easily chill when the temperature radically drops in any environment (e.g. airconditioned hall). And I can no longer donate blood to those in need, since donating would mean transferring the parasite to the recipient.

My chilly cryptic experience was my own teacher that wakened me up from my physical lethargy. I have since mutated into a wellness buff and lifestyle guru sort-of, even as I continue to re-echo wellness themes whenever the opportunity permits.

To add the cryptic facet to that experience, a first cousin of mine, Eroll Argonza, who was my kababata (childhood playmate) and of identical age, also suffered from a debilitating disease (typhoid) simultaneous with my own malaria attack. My cousin tragically failed to make it, died while struggling in the hospital bed, and was buried when I was just recovering from my own malaria ailment.

The death of my cousin, who was a young bank professional then and had a family of his own (he fathered an only girl child who later graduated from the University of the Philippines and is happily married to a maritime engineer), sent shuddering tectonics and shockwaves for years to come on our entire family lineages. His sad travail was an added teacher to me, mentoring me with the ‘stick’ in hand to never again be remiss on my fitness regimen.

To end this note, let me re-echo the challenge that each and every working man and woman build and sustain a fitness regimen. The overall goal is to capacitate the person. No one forces fitness regimen unto those emotional morons who are indifferent to it, fitness is just a mere choice really. Those among us who are attitudinally smarter should just go ahead and make ourselves physically smarter and serve as exemplars of smartness by doing instead of talking.

[Philippines, 18 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

FITNESS PROGRAM & CAPACITY-BUILDING

October 2, 2010

FITNESS PROGRAM & CAPACITY-BUILDING

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang umaga sa inyo! Good morning to you all!

Let me re-echo the theme of physical fitness in this note, with my contention being that fitness regimen contributes immensely to capacity-building. Conversely, the neglect of a fitness program—sustained across time—would incapacitate a person in no small measure, leading to even greater risks of physical degeneration and short life-span.

I have already tackled fitness programming numerous times in the past, notably in speeches on development, health and wellness. I’ve likewise wrote notes about the matter, with one note posted in my wisdom & self-development blogs (“Health & wellness: promoting longevity, prosperity, harmony,” in http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com).

Rest assured, I shall never get tired of re-echoing the theme. Whatever one wishes to use fitness program for, whether for advancing one’s material well-being (profession, craft, business) or spiritual self-development, the lesson should be as clear as the most transparent water: build and sustain a fitness program to capacitate you for your short- and long-term goal attainment.

To note, urban life and the rat race are skyrocketing to take up the largest chunks of peoples’ attention, and that chunk of attention includes neglecting fitness in favor of conspicuous consumption and toxin build-up of the biophysical body. Every kind of rationalization is advanced by the working folks to justify the neglect of fitness program, and they’d blame every external factor (work, their boss, career, money…) to cover up for their personal weakness in neglecting a very basic practice in life: fitness regimen.

I do resonate with the physical education professors, such as Prof. Mar Panganiban of the University of the Philippines Manila (a former colleague at my home College of Arts & Sciences), when they cogitate that “the amount of inputs ingested in the body should be commensurately followed by an equivalent quantity of outputs.” Input means, of course, sums of food intakes; outputs, the burning of calories and detoxification through physical exercises.

To take the argument further, “should you put excessive inputs in the body but output is less than the input, than you build up unwanted fats and toxins.” That is classic systems analysis, where a system breakdown if the output can’t churn out much to correspond to high input levels.

So the logical conclusion is: ensure that output level (exercises and related detoxifications) should catch up with, or level with, the level of input. If a person inputs 2,000 calories per day or 14,000 calories per week, but output consists mainly of work routines and mobility exertion routines (driving or riding to work and back home), then chances are that the output is lower than the input.

The average weight for that calorie level is middle weight (for man or woman), or approximately 145-160 pounds. So if a person of this weight range ingests such levels of inputs, the demand for output is clear: let fitness exercise be added on top of your work regimen and mobility exertions. Aside from that, find ways to detoxify through regular drinking of herbal teas averaging two (2) mugs a day.

Avoid sweets, carbonated drinks (eliminate them if possible) and junk foods. If it can’t be avoided that you take caffeine (to waken up for the day) accompanied by sugar, then that’s alright, provided that you burn the sugar and detoxify the excess through herbal teas at night time (they can serve as beverage accompanying dinner).

And please drink enough water every day. In my experience, I drink a minimum of fifteen (15) glasses/mugs of water daily. That includes water used for mixing my coffee before breakfast, milk choco accompanying breakfast, two (2) coffees in to go with afternoon snacks, and the two (2) mugs of herbal tea at night. My last glass of water is consumed in sips every time I wake up at night to pee. The coffee and herbal teas that I drink are diuretics that aid the water to be released, taking out the toxins in the process.

As a testimony, it was my fitness programs (swim & jug in the 80s, powerlifting since 1990) that capacitated me to work longer hours daily. Without a fitness regimen, I would already feel fatigued before 5:00 p.m. (I really felt such a bad state in 1981 & ‘82 as a starting young professional). With fitness program in hand, I can begin work at 6 a.m. (prep for breakfast & work) and end up at past 10 p.m. (I’d be meeting fellow professionals or development clients, or drafting documents).

After decades of fitness regimen, my body has become so primed up that today I had cut down on exercises and still remain physically adroit the whole day. I’ve also cut down on inputs (diet) to accompany my cutting down of burning regimen. Whereas I used to gym for four (4) days a week, today I sustain it with only two (2) days plus another three (3) days of walking (at least 45 minutes leisurely walk).

It surely pays to listen to your body, conscience and experience that are your teachers along your way. And, it pays never to listen to your ‘inner demon’ that would do everything to get you out of a fitness regimen, make you lazy and rush you to hospitals later for repetitive ailment attacks.

So the choice is really yours. Change your lifestyle now, include fitness regimen in it, or retain your lazy bone lifestyle and deposit as many fats and toxins in your system. Go ahead and make the choice.

[Philippines, 18 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

FOR CITING MY WRITES AMONG TOP BLOGS, GRATITUDE!

September 26, 2010

FOR CITING MY WRITES AMONG TOP BLOGS, GRATITUDE!

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra

Felicitous greetings to you all!

I hereby extend my most heartfelt gratitude to enthused readers and fellow writers who appreciated my notes about social life, wisdom and arts.

Just about three (3) years ago, there was very little information about my person on cyberspace. Today, as I’ve spread my messages of Light and hope to all of the corners of the globe via the blogs and social networks, many enthused souls responded through reading, exchanges of notes, and citations of my works. Finally, after your appreciation and support of my cyber-crusade, information about me on cyberspace increased by gigantic strides.

Special thanks to the following online news, magazines and portals for citing my notes as among the top blogs on cyberspace:

Thanks too to the following sites that have cited, discussed and debated on various notes of mine about a diversity of topics and themes:

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://asean-society.org

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://awakento1.org

http://boardreader.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://globalbalita.com

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://nuip.net

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://surchur.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://yoga-experts.info

Maraming salamat! Thank you very much! Love & Light!

September 2010

CHINA’S 3-GORGES DAM: DAMNING ECO-FASCIST CATASTR0PHE DISCOURSE

September 25, 2010

CHINA’S 3-GORGES DAM: DAMNING ECO-FASCIST CATASTR0PHE DISCOURSE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good morning to all ye global citizens! Goodwill and peace to you!

For this day I chose to peregrinate on the 3-Gorges Dam of China, a project that cost a whopping $23 Billion to build. The eco-fascist detractors of the project raised the specter of catastrophe that could result from a collapse of the dam infrastructure, so maybe its time to reflect about the giant energy project.

I just arrived from overseas assignment in 2002 when I had the opportunity to discuss the 3-Gorges dam in my social science classes in Manila. At that time, I was offered a Director post in a think-tank of the Augustinian sisters, a stint that gave me opportunity to mine enormous data about the latest development engagements nationally and globally. I also taught as lecturer while directing research, which surely offered me a privileged position to reflect about global issues.

Being one who has been involved in the planning works on ambitious development projects (e.g. industrial estate/free trade zone, economic support projects for marginal sectors worth hundreds of millions of dollars) as a practitioner, I was truly appreciative of the efforts of China’s state to tame the Yangtze and tap its power-packed waters for electrification, irrigation, and subsidiary purposes. Though environmentally-driven myself, I am not wont to deliver satirical and destructive remarks about such a project as the 3-Gorges Dam that can benefit a greater section of China’s population and economy.

There are always negative trade-offs to any big endeavor, such as the displacement of 1.4 million folks along the reservoir area of the dam. What project of such a stature in the world doesn’t have a downside to it anyway? The downsides are the ones highlighted the most by paid hacksters of the West’s financier oligarchs, notably the political greenies whose obsessive-compulsive reflexes are unmatched anywhere in the world.

The USA had its own taste of baptism of fire from destructive commentators when the FD Roosevelt regime built the Hoover Dam. A pioneering infrastructure and energy project during its own time, the project received enormous media detractions that were paid by Nazi  oligarchs in the homeland who, not to say the least, owned and controlled America’s giant media outfits (they own media till these days). The detractors did everything in the books in fact to destroy FDR for his innovative New Deal measures that included massive infrastructures as pump priming tool to take out America from the Great Depression towards recovery and prosperity.

As one can see, the Hoover Dam stood the test of time, and it remains as one of the marvels of America’s public works. It is too early to say about what can happen to the 3-Gorges Dam, but it has parallelisms to the Hoover Dam and other ambitious infrastructure projects of the New Deal heydays, projects that the predatory financiers in America couldn’t play their hands with as they are primarily state-sponsored.

Understandly, the West’s financiers can not benefit directly from projects initiated by China’s government, even as it is now too late for destructive Western forces to take down China’s economy through massive looting of the financial markets the way they’ve done to their own domestic economies in the EU and USA. So they employ those civil society groups that receive funds from the financiers’ ‘corporate social responsibility’ coffers, with the expectation that the activist funds recipients would drum up the destructive impacts of projects they cannot control such as the 3-Gorges Dam.

In the event of heavy rainfalls however, there is reason to keep watch over the waters’ possible exceeding the 175-meter limit of the dam’s reservoir. As shown by our own precedents in the Philippines, the dam’s administrators used the contingency tool of releasing parts of the waters before the same could ever do damage on the dam through an overflow that could trigger a catastrophic burst of the infrastructure.

With decades of hydraulics experience behind our local experts here, this much I can say: so far so good! True, there were casualties who suffered from the inundations caused by the contingency releases of the rising floodwaters. But no single dam ever burst catastrophically yet, a catastrophe that could have resulted to higher casualties of at least a couple of millions of folks.

It’s now the start of the ‘ember’ months, and so far we are witness to the 3-Gorges Dam standing tall. So far so good! There are still three (3) more months to hurdle before the storms will bring heavy rainfalls, but so far the indications are the dam administrators can manage the hydraulic flows efficaciously.

If there is any message I can deliver to the eco-fascist blabbermouths, they should spread themselves across the world’s continents and plant trees in the de-forested boondocks. This behavior would be truly exemplary, as it will show that sociopathic groups and persons can also exhibit productive behavior during times of crisis.

[Philippines, 15 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

September 23, 2010

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

Good day to all endeared readers, friends, fellow global citizens!

A truly gladdening news has been breaking the cybersphere of late. Prof. Erle Frayne Argonza, a social analyst and self-development guru from Manila, has been continuing to gain mileage in his magnanimous efforts to enlighten humanity about the current social and cosmic issues.

To date, dozens of online newspapers and magazines across the globe have featured Prof. Argonza’s writings on their very own websites. Championing the causes of peace and global cooperation, Prof. Argonza has continued to reach out to enthused readers, writers and spiritual seekers. The latter contributed to the upsurge in the numbers of citations of Argonza’s writings aimed at accelerating awareness-raising.

For your reads and exchange of notes about Prof. Argonza’s blogs, please visit:

SOCIAL WRITINGS:

https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

WISDOM WRITINGS:

http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

ART & POETRY:

http://erleargonza.wordpress.com, http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Join now the growing numbers of global citizens who find Light in Prof. Argonza’s englightening blogs!

Argonza & Associates Consulting

September 2010

TOP BLOG SITES:

http://thedailyreviewer.com

http://humanitariannews.org

http://www.nonprofit.org

http://sociology.alltop.com

http://clpl-india.com

http://pul.se

http://asiafinest.com

http://newestnews.net

http://topcityblogs.com

CITED ARGONZA BLOGS FOR DIVERSE THEME DISCUSSIONS & ANNOTATIONS:

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://asean-society.org

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://awakento1.org

http://boardreader.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://globalbalita.com

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://nuip.net

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://surchur.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://yoga-experts.info

FUEL SAVING SHOWS ASIANS AHEAD OF EUROPEANS

September 20, 2010

FUEL SAVING SHOWS ASIANS AHEAD OF EUROPEANS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good Day from the suburbs south of Manila!

Another gladdening news for us global citizens just came out recently from the heraldry mills: that of Asians leading the way to fuel-saving behavior. For those advocates of mitigating ‘greenhouse effect’ gas emissions through direct motorist interventions, the news surely comes as a refreshing one.

In a report summarized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (by Amy R. Remo, 22 August 2012), the Shell corporation accordingly conducted a research which shows the greater inclination of Asians for fuel saving then the Europeans. 3,300 drivers across Asia and Europe served as respondents, and was released by the Shell FuelSave Report.

The motivation for fuel-saving, as validated by the research, were (a) the prospect of saving money and (b) being environmentally responsible. One can see, from the report, how economics has been merging with ecological balance concerns for the entire Asian continent, a reality that wasn’t there two (2) decades back.

The increased awareness of Asian motorists towards fuel utilization efficiency clearly deconstructs those contorted notions that developing countries are too low in environmental awareness. It’s plain stereotyping, this protestation from Western/Northern countries that Asians can’t commit to cutting down fossil fuel emissions as their development path still lingers on in the phase of ‘smokestack economy’ of yesteryears.

Fact is, the research findings coincides with the recent manifestation of exemplary behavior by Asian countries in re-engineering their policy environments to shift their power production and fuel consumption towards more clean energy in the foreseeable future. It is the Northern/Western countries that have been remiss in this regard, as one can see, with the USA leading the way to stubborn non-commitment to international protocols on cutting down fossil fuel emissions.

The report accordingly conducted online interviews beginning March 21 this year in the following countries: Philippines, UK, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.   

My own country, the Philippines, has been among the most applauded internationally as it had reshaped its policy environment to develop and mass produce green energy fuel sources. Hybrid engines are now available in the country that utilize a combination of alternative and fossil fuel sources, while solar-powered vehicular prototypes are being designed across the country (even university students are vying for exemplary prototypes that can be mass produced locally and abroad).

The resort to fuel saving is a transitory phase towards a shift to total clean energy sources (solar, fuel cells, to the more ambitious gravitic and plasma technologies) that will be the viable option in the near future. My own forecast is that it won’t take till 2025 when the total shift can be accomplished across Asia, with the emerging markets of today leading the way towards that ambitious goal.

[Philippines, 12 September 2012]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

 

ROBOTS BETTER DO MINERS’ JOB IN NEAR FUTURE

September 14, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the suburban boondocks south of Manila!

It’s playing Latin music in my multimedia at home right now. As I play the danceable tunes by Buena Vista Social Club, my eyes are focused on the news “Some Chile miners showing mental crack” in the world news of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug. 29, 2010).

Let me then dedicate this piece to the task of mining as a way to honor the miners of the world. Honoring them means that eventually the human miners will retire from the job, with robots taking over those rather hazardous tasks related to mineral extraction.

To quote the report’s inception, “Five of the miners trapped underground in Chile for months to come are struggling psychologically, officials said on Friday, as engineers prepared to start drilling an escape shaft.”

The news coming from Copiaco, Chile further heralded, “While the rest of the 33 trapped miners were happy to take part in a video to show families they were bearing up despite what has so far been a three-week ordeal, the smaller group refused and were exhibiting signs of depression.” [AFP Report]

Well, what else can we expect from toiling workers trapped deep down underground, with hardly much hope for coming back to the planet’s surface till after months of hard rescue operations to come. Even a person who doesn’t suffer from manic-depressive disorder can crack up and manifest depression.

If we go back to the times of the Roman republic, and maybe backtrack 2,000 years earlier than Rome, we can review their mining practices then. Mind you, contrast our mining extraction today with those of ancient times, and you just might have the shock of your life to find out that there isn’t much contrast really.

The technology of extracting minerals down underground remains to be dependent on human or anthropocentric labor for thousands of years now. Not even the impressive engineering works to dig the minerals from rocks down under can impress me much at all, they remain the same technology: human-driven extraction.

While the miners of antiquity were slaves of the imperial deus ex machina, today’s miners are cogs of the business empires’ deus ex machina. Marginal or small-scale miners, like the ones we have in the boondocks of northern and southern tips of the Philippines, are all the more risk-prone to the appalling extraction conditions and technology as they can be buried anytime by mining-related calamities without healthcare or ‘life plan’ to compensate them.

A cursory examination of the Chilean miners’ condition allows this analyst to facilely forecast that at least 1/3 of them (around 2 persons) will be in advanced form of depression and nervous breakdown as soon as the rescue operators reach them. Sad!

That’s how human labor is treated by corporate capital since the birth of the money economy anyway: mere objects worth throwing away if they die during production operations. Miners are among the most classic cases of how capital treats human labor as cheap dirty eater stuff.

If indeed corporate capital—and its cultural deodorant ‘corporate social responsibility—has the sanguine love for human miners, it should strive pronto to innovate on robotics that can do the work for the miners. Retire all the miners of today pronto, compensate them for social security and healthcare, and then gradually employ the robot miners.

Only token labor—comprising of technicians and engineers—are needed to operate robotics-driven mining. Robots won’t suffer from depression in case of mishaps, they won’t require healthcare and social security but rather maintenance expenditures appropriate and sufficient for their upkeep.

Retired miners can then afford to exhibit more productive engagements such as to serve as eco-tourist guides for students and visitors who may wish to examine former open-pit mines that have been re-greened with lush vegetation. They can likewise do some tour guide tasks for mine visits that would be as less risk-prone as their previous jobs.

Meantime, let me share my own lines of solidarity to all those suffering miners in Chile and the rest of the planet. May they find light at the end of the tunnel of oligarchic pseudo-slavery down shafts and pits, and tell their narratives to the planet as part of our human history heritage.

[Philippines, 10 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

FUSION NUCLEAR ENERGY: CHINA TAKES R&D LEAD

September 2, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good afternoon!

Large swaths of lands in Asia were recently flooded, which paints a gloomy landscape in China, India, and Pakistan. Flooding, however, doesn’t kill civilizations, and floodwaters should be viewed on the positive side as providing, after calamities, much needed water and energy source.

As history has shown, it is the sudden absence of water, via large-scale calamity, that had killed many civilizations in antiquity. For as long as we have plenty of water reserves in the planet, civilization will continue. As energy source, water has provided hydro-electricity, geothermal (heated water from underground sources), and fuel cell medium (electrolysis).

The present onrush of waters could, in fact, serve as blessing to crack the news of a new form of energy: fusion nuclear energy. Talked about for decades as mere theory in classroom chemistry and physics and in coffee shops, fusion energy is now becoming more of a reality each day.

China unquestionably leads in the research & development efforts on fusion energy. Sometime in mid-2008 yet, the news leaked out to the world that China’s research scientists were able to make a breakthrough in the research phase of fusion energy. As per information leaking out, China is ahead of the rest of the world by at least a decade.

Reports had it at that time that a commercial breeder plant was still around ten (10) years in the offing. That means the earliest time for the release of such a breeder plant will be around 2018 yet. A tedious process indeed it is to perfect a model for commercial usage, but time runs fast these days, so let us anticipate the formal release of the first prototype just couples of years away from now.

The era of clean energy will surely receive a boost when fusion begins to roll, and by next decade we can safely forecast that fossil energy will rapidly decline in importance leading to its demise before 2030. I just wish the time table for burying fossil energy could be shortened, and like everyone else who is tired of the machinations of the oil oligarchs and financier-speculators in spot markets, I could hardly wait to offer dirges to fossil fuels.

[Philippines, 30 August 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

RURAL DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE TOP PRIORITY WORLDWIDE

August 26, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the Philippines’ highland suburbs!

For this note I will focus on the thesis that rural development should be pursued by developing countries. The world’s nations have pursued growth that has been badly skewed towards urbanization and commercialization since after World War II, a total effort that has seen many people become poor as a result. Most of the poor folks are in rural hinterlands and fisherfolks.

The Philippines is a classic case in point that has been direly affected by the badly skewed development in favor of urbanization, an endeavor that has been fostered at the expense of rural communities of farmers, fisherfolks, and Indigenous Peoples or IPs. Today, Philippine population is 66% urban and 34% rural, with 2% added to urban population every year.

As urbanization grows, rural poverty likewise grows in my beloved country. Rural to urban poverty ratio here is 2.5:1 and is still moving up. It was 2.1:1 in 1989, and the situation has been deteriorating ever since. 70% of the country’s poor families are rural, with only 30% as urban. Very clearly, between the two, it is rural development that must be pursued with vigor to reverse the poverty situation in the country as a whole.

To demonstrate what I mean by skewed development, consider the following information:

ü  MetroManila or simply Manila, the national capital region (NCR), produces 30% or nearly 1/3 of the nation’s wealth. Yet it supports merely 12% o3 1/8 of the nation’s population.

ü  As of end of 2009, Manila contributed a whopping US $65 Billion to the country’s $186 Billion GDP or gross domestic product. Using UNDP converter index, Manila’s GDP, multiplied by 4, registered an enviable $260 Billion-Purchasing Power Parity or PPP for 2009, rendering it as wealthy as the whole of Vietnam.

ü  Included among the world’s 35 most wealthy and powerful mega-cities—comprising the ‘global nexus’—Manila’s economy remains at 65% services and 35% industries, with nary a food base worth documenting. These economic sectors are the highest in value-added, ensuring high levels of income for all component cities and towns of the mega-city.

ü  Poverty in Manila has been reduced to a manageable 8%, rendering it on an even much better situation than the USA’s whose poverty incidence had climbed from 12% in 2002 to 15% today. Manila has all the resources it needs to solve its own poverty and development problems, which made it drastically reduce poverty since the 1990s.

ü  Therefore, Manila should no longer be subsidized by national government in terms of development projects, from roads to international airports (Los Angeles & US cities are building their own airports without federal or state government support). Yet, as records show, billions of dollars are still being poured by national government to bankroll gigantic projects here, such as lightrail systems, international airport expansion, and flood control.

ü  On top of those national government-initiated projects is Pagcor City, a world-class theme park-cum-gaming complex that is costing U.S. $25 Billion (with private participation). It will employ 250,000 and will house the world’s tallest tower. It is targeted for completion in 2014.

So, as you can see from the Philippine case, whereas the mega-city receives billions of dollars for new projects and urban renewal, the rural areas continue to wallow in appalling states of abject poverty. Lucky enough if a region outside Manila would be appropriated P1 Billion or U.S. $24 Million at any given year from the pork barrels of Congress.

Fisherfolks in my country are particularly the most vulnerable to poverty and deleterious living conditions spawned by it. With poverty incidence at 66%, you could easily see why past 40% of fisherfolks’ children suffer from advanced malnutrition. The situation of over-fishing in the entire country compounds the poverty situation of marginal fisherfolks who can ill afford to equip themselves with state-of-the art fishing gears to compete with commercial fishers.

To say that the Philippines is in a transition phase, and that poverty and malnutrition will disappear it time as the country reaches development ‘maturity’, is pure delusion. Without active intervention to improve the capacities and capabilities of fisherfolks, farmers, and IPs, the problem of poverty will never fade away but will, as a matter of fact, worsen with time.

With so many rural folks wallowing in cesspools of pauperization, we can at best watch more rural insurgencies feast upon the resentment-filled minds of the rural poor. As the Philippine case has shown, past rural insurgencies have ceased only to be replaced by new, bigger, and more ferocious insurgencies.

[Philippines, 11 August 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

PAN-AFRICAN AWARENESS RISES: WILL IT BITE?

August 12, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang gabi mula sa Perlas ng Silangan! Good evening from the Pearl of the Orient!

Pan-Africanism seems to be getting sweeter an idea recently, so I chose to delve on the subject for this article. Pan-Africanism as a pathos (group feel & aware) seeks to unify the diverse ethnicities of the continent from southernmost South Africa to the northern Arab-Berber-Hamite territories, to indicate the contours of the emerging pathos.

Whether this pathos will gel in order to effectively create synergies among Africans of so heterogenous a composition remains to be seen. As a matter of development imperative, I’d encourage such a colossal effort myself, and I hope that the Africans would truly get together to solve their deep-seated social, political and economic malaise.

As far as I see it, the pathos was there from the time of the early pharaohs through the time of Carthage, but declined rapidly during the advent of the Hellenic monarchs of the northeastern region. When Cleopatra ruled Egypt, the fragmentation and decay of that unity was completed. Africa was thereafter subordinated to empires and potentates to its north (Rome and later empires).

For two thousand years such a pathos slept and lay dormant in the antechambers of the African psyche. Western powers arrived, occupied, and declared Africa and its peoples as their chattels, and that latter imperialist act of the West seems to have doomed any effort to revive pan-Africanism via a renaissance movement.

Thereafter, before and after the colonial periods for each of Africa’s regions, each nation waged its own version of nation-building and national renaissance. Sadly, the post-colonial period saw the nation-building efforts degenerate, with many African states cascading catastrophically down ‘failed state’ syndrome.

Africa’s nations were actually creations of the West, and they fail because tribes that were like oil and water just couldn’t get their acts together in the last instance in each nation concerned. They sold their sovereignty to warlordism and Anglo-European oligarchic moneybags. The superficial states just couldn’t hold water much longer, and so we witness fragmentation and balkanization till these days.

It seems that the last salvation for the end of the chaos and fragmentation is pan-Africanism itself. Africans are trying to construct a new center—not geographical but cultural-ideational—that could cement the diverse ethnicities of a chaotically decentered continent.

Pan-Africanism will have to compete though with other revivalist movements. Pan-Arabism, as represented by Ba’ath ideology, used to be a strong contender but is now on the rapid decline. Pan-Islamism is on the rise, though it has its own competing discourses—Sunni and Shiite. There is Christian fundamentalism that the Opus Dei, Jesuits, evangelical and Baptist groups are stirring up in a frontal clash with pan-Islamism.

Such revivalist movements tend to secure a region or select African ethnicities, such as the Arab-Berber-Hamite triad for pan-Arabism. They may get some pieces of the African pie with them, but they are narrow and parochial as they divide the continent and its component ethniticies. Pan-Africanism can therefore supersede all of them, though its maturation is a tenuous endeavor.

A very rough political-cultural ocean this pathos is surely confronting. Getting together hundreds of tribal and ethnic groups, with their own inter-ethnic conflicts raging till these days, is enormously enigmatic a goal to hurdle, with so many gourdian knots to cut.

Africans have no better choice but get together. Poverty, ethnic conflicts, bio-warfare ailments (AIDS & others), balkanization, and the looting of its resources by Western moneybags is leading the continent and its peoples to a cul de sac Hades.

Europe had been re-awakening the long dormant Roman pathos, and that “grandeur that was Rome” is running through the gamut of the European psyche on both sides of the Atlantic. Bonapartism is crystallizing rapidly as the state ideology of the emerging New Rome (EU-USA), its contours now forming though straddling sand dunes. Rome is re-acquiring its old territories as we’re now witnessing.

The subordination of ancient Africa (Egypt-Nubia leading) to Rome is again being revived. Such a revivalism would get expressed as an enchainment of pan-Africa to New Rome’s agenda of conflagration versus a renascent Persia (Shiite Iran). If the conflagration will ensue, pan-Africa’s gains will collapse under the roof.

So the question that we ask now is, will pan-Africa yield to the Anglo-European oligarchs and become canon fodders for the latter’s war versus Persia? Or, will pan-Africa truly unite the vast continent’s diverse ethnic communities and galvanize a sovereign continent that can’t be dragged into the ‘clash of civilizations’ madness of Western moneybags?

[Philippines, 30 July 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]