Archive for the ‘sociology’ category

SCARCITY VERSUS ABUNDANCE: THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE

December 10, 2014

SCARCITY VERSUS ABUNDANCE: THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The Continental Divide—between Euro-America (Europe, North America, Latin America) and Asia-Pacific—is no mere geographical cleavage, but more importantly cultural-civilizational. In economic doctrines, the division lies in the core premise that underpins all other economic variables and the social class arrangements that constitute the base for appropriating the values of the totality of efforts of production, distribution, consumption and exchange. While Western thinkers premise economic realities on scarcity, the Eastern thinkers notably sages presuppose the same on abundance.

The foundational doctrines of Western political economy—mercantilism and physiocracy—were both premised on scarcity. All other doctrines that emerged thereafter, inclusive of socialism, neo-classicism and marginalism, proceeded from the same premise. The most popular socialist thinker, K. Marx, envisioned a society of abundance, rationalizing such a vision on the presumed reality of scarcity (of resources) and its attendant effect, mitigated by social structures, of pauperization on the proletariat. This ‘scarcity premise’ is indubitably a hallmark of Western discourse.

Eastern discourse raises questions about such a premise. Among all Eastern thinkers, it was Gandhi who most succinctly articulated the difference. To the folks of the East, daily living is a reality of abundance, such an abundance abetted by continuous resource materialization and allocation as graces from the transcendent spheres. With the caveat, to note, that people live according to their needs. Accordingly, the planet has more than enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed. What could be wiser today than the said dictum, so simple in structure yet so profound in substance? (Review also Buddhist economics, Sarkar’s ‘progressive utilization theory’, Sri Aurobindo’s vedic economics, Baha’i economics, Vivekananda’s socialist visions.)

I couldn’t but agree more with the Eastern discursive stream than with the Western ones. Why, let us query, do Filipinos keep on eating the whole day, sliding inputs down their stomachs as much as five (5) times a day? And why don’t the Filipinos save surplus money at all (many folks don’t even maintain back accounts)? That is because deep within their psyche, in the antechambers of their ‘collective unconscious’, resides the presupposition of abundance. Mother earth provides, the country provides, so why save for tomorrow, and why not consume that which is offered unto you when you arrive as a visitor amongst the town & country folks, such offerings being graces from God and His most divine minions?

Among ancient islanders, it was a vice to store resources (savings) for oneself, as this is a hoarding practice. Reciprocity then was the economic norm of behavior. When a household cooks nilupak, and a surplus of the delicacy is gathered after the eating, then the virtuous behavior is to share the excess nilupak among neighbors and kins rather than hoard it; and, conversely, it was a vice (read: very bad behavior) to throw away (surplus) that which has been provided for by Bathala and the anitos.

Surely, economic theorizing that is so deeply steeped in Western streams will never get to the bottom of the reality of Filipino economic behavior. Flawed premises breed flawed models that consequently produce flawed explanatory constructs and flawed practices on the developmental sphere. To a great extent, the Filipinos continue to retain, rather unconsciously, the reciprocity-based ‘systems’ of antiquity, contributing in no small measure to their bayanihan mode of adaptation. This reciprocity helps them to survive disasters and permits them to adapt quickly to new environments that are strongly cash-based, such as urban centers. It is also the basis for creating Filipino ‘social capital’ (Peter Evans had articulated well on the principle) as human asset accretions arising from networks of volunteer social groups (civil society), the kind of capital that is a catalytic factor in various development endeavors.

New Nationalism may have to find an effective bridge between the two. What is sure for now is that the exchange systems of redistribution (feudalism) and markets (capitalism), both imposed upon the islanders by Western empires, have undermined the Asian or ‘Islander Way’ of reciprocity premised on abundance. During the time of Gat J. Rizal, the islands were able to provide more than enough for everyone else, no matter how harsh the Latin-Hispanic feudal system was to the folks who were subsumed in its enclaves. Today, with over eighty (80) million people populating the archipelago, reality had assumed the scarcity mode, making us believe that scarcity has been the premise since antiquity.

The bridge between the East and West will be institutionalized through the popularization of a needs-based philosophy. However, the consumerism that is the hallmark of a revivified market strongly erodes a needs-based discourse. There surely is a dynamic tension between ‘basic needs’ and consumerism, and such a tension will be a chief definer of the premise’s compass in the succeeding decades.

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004. For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

ECHOING THE NEO-NATIONALIST THEME

December 5, 2014

ECHOING THE NEO-NATIONALIST THEME

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

This paper echoes the emerging discourse referred to as New Nationalism. Note that various writers have formulated theories anchored on New Nationalism. Their theories out-rightly impact on public policy and development practice, such as the framework articulated by Robert Reich (see The Work of Nations). Here at home, economists such as Emmanuel De Dios have begun to echo themes of harmonizing nationalism and globalization.

The framework base of this paper will be (a) political economy combined with (b) institutionalism. The current approach of comparative political economy had proved to be a very instructive one, this being the most central framework in development studies and public policy studies, with its analytics carried out through cross-national methodology. This approach will also be integrated with the emerging cross-disciplinal trend of institutionalism, a framework that was actually started by sociologists, and is particularly strong in studies on civil society & development, state-society synergy and organization theory.

Being an Asian, this analyst will also liberally subscribe to core tenets of Asian thinkers, notably Mahatma Gandhi’s. New Nationalism should as much as possible integrate the Eastern and Western theoretical streams to be able to find meaningful anchorage in the whole of the Asian continent.

It is hoped that the article will be of use to various end-users for reflective purposes, particularly to advocacy groups and state agencies that are in the process of rethinking paradigms & issues revolving around public policy.

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004. For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY: CAN IT SURVIVE THE COMING ‘TECHNOTRONIC’ CAPITALISM?

October 25, 2014

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY: CAN IT SURVIVE THE COMING ‘TECHNOTRONIC’ CAPITALISM?
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

‘Late’ capitalism, this current phase that replaced the ‘monopoly’ capitalism of the pre-war era, is now DEAD. As elucidated by Jurgen Habermas, thinker of the Frankfurt school, capitalism was able to move to its present state but only with massive state planning/intervention. State intervention had since the early 70s been relaxed, via globalization, but this only created monstrous predatory finance that hastened the collapse of the system.

As already elaborated in previous articles, the system is now DEAD. In the late 1990s yet, we Fellows of the Independent Review (a circle of economists and experts in Manila) were of the opinion that the system will be dead in couples of years. The ‘virtual economy’ based on magical statistics, speculation, fictitiously valued investments, and conspicuous consumption, can never be sustained, and is bound to crash and die. It was just a matter of time, as we all noted in 2000 (the last time I met the Fellows), before the bubble will burst somewhere (we forecast it will the USA) and the global economy will come crashing down…And it did, beginning last 2007 yet. That descent to the marshes of death is still going on today.

As I also declared in some previous articles, capitalism can still survive, though no longer the ‘late’ capitalism of state planning-to-globalization era. It will be a capitalism in an era of state terror heretofore unparalleled: ‘technotronic’ capitalism in the aegis of global police-state. Nation-states are enemies of the global oligarchy which will re-engineer the world by destroying nations (aftermath of atrocious World War III and global synarchy) and replacing them with city-states and region-states.

If corporate social responsibility or CSR will survive the times, it must be re-tooled at this juncture when the tumultuous changes are gathering winds. Failure to do so, many CSR pursuits will disappear in time, while only those CSR platforms of the most powerful and wealthy oligarchs can survive. All the CSR formats of today can last in relevance maybe till 2040 at the most, after which my forecast is their relevance will have reached its end.

By the year 2050, when populations will have leveled down to a census target of 2 Billion warm bodies, a figure that will be more manageable to the global elites, every member of society will be chipped and provided for. By that time, there will be no further need for ideological movements as Pied Pipers of the new system. Everyone else will be programmed by the system, from cradle to grave the chipped Manchurian Candidate or MC will be provided for. Poverty will end by then, the Millenium Development Goal of the UN will be finally met (the UN will be transformed into the tyrannical global state headed by a global Bonaparte, armed with its own police/military forces), and then will end the ‘sustainable development’ or ‘social development’ pursuits of ‘late’ capitalism.

The chipped Manchurian Candidate or MC will be half-human half-machine hybrid, and will be well provided for as mentioned. Population will be totally controlled, weak and senior members of the population will be ‘oven-baked’ or eliminated, natality will be controlled following China’s pattern of today, criminality will be almost nil, and no one will ever be poor again. Hybrid-human behavior can be easily modified using those advanced cybernetic prototype programs past 2050, and so nobody can fool around with the system.

Tell me, fellows, in a situation such as that coming context of advanced cybernetics or ‘technotronics’ (machine-controlled humans), what need will there be for CSR? Maybe CSR will go back to Victorian Era philanthropy practices, whereby wealthy sponsors will fund the theaters and chipped performers whose performances will be perfected all the more by cybernetics. The staff of the CSR formats of that era, if indeed applicable, will be chipped as well, like those outfits that will be funded because they will perform before the oligarchic-intellectual crowd by then.

When that next capitalist system comes, there will be no more activists or revolutionaries save for those who will proclaim Hallelujah forever to the radically altered, new system. Libertarian activists will be the species of yesteryears, the CSR proto-activism of today will be consigned to history, and anybody who will go against the system will be easily eliminated by sentinel robots of the most advanced prototypes.

Let me end with the challenge: CSR better retool now and reshape its image if it desires to exceed its institutional career. Now is the time.

[Philippines, 28 August 2008]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

ADAM SMITH’S CLASSICAL THEORY IS COPYCAT/UN-ORIGINAL

August 27, 2014

ADAM SMITH’S CLASSICAL THEORY IS COPYCAT/UN-ORIGINAL
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang umaga! Good morning from Manila!

As one can see in the title, Adam Smith’s ideas about political economy were unoriginal or copycat. So I’m going to articulate some notes about the matter. This may come as a shocker to the devotees of Smith and fanatical ideologues of liberal or free market capitalism, but it had to be accepted. This is a matter of fact, not of speculation or libel.

This note is not intended to demean Smith nor to denigrate those whose actions are copycat, far from it. Doing copycat items is among the pathways to success, this lesson is greatly stressed most specially among marketing professionals. If one cannot succeed through innovative or original ideas and practices, then take the ‘copycat way’. Network marketing had already perfected the ‘copycat way’ in fact, by way of optimizing the principle of duplication (duplicate those presentation lines and themes before your niche customers or clients).

There are people who have this wrong notion that Smith invented liberal capitalism, and this has to be corrected. A simple knowledge of economic history will do. Having taught economic history at the Philippine’s premier university (U. Philippines) for some time, I know as a matter of fact that couples of influential writers emerged in the theoretic domain—who were focused on economic questions—before Smith appeared in the social landscape. Smith appeared when physiocracy, to which Smith properly belongs, was already making waves in France through the works of such gentlemen as Quesnay and Mirabeau.

But as one can see, Smith was a Scot, of the British Isle, and right in his own backyard there were couples of gentlemen too who wrote voluminously on the subject of political economy, from a vantage point that was already departing from the mercantilism of the previous couple of centuries. The departure concerned the sources of wealth, where the same thinkers opined that the ‘sphere of production’ had to be emphasized more than the ‘sphere of exchange’ which the mercantilists, notably Thomas Mun, discoursed on.

Some representative thinkers who preceded Smith were the following:

• Sir William Petty (1623-87): Considered the founder of political economy. A charter member of the Royal Society.

• John Locke, Sir Dudley North, David Hume, David Hume: Further propounded on basic principles of political economy. E.g. rent, trade, role of government.

• Richard Cantillon: His book Essai sur la nature du commerce en general (1755) was “the most systematic statement of economic principles” (E. Roll, A History of Economic Thought).

• Sir James Steuart: Wrote the voluminous Principles of Political Economy (1767), which was among the first textbooks in economics of that time.

• Honore Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau: Enlightenment thinker, involved with the French revolution, a political moderate who opined that modernizing France better follow the US model of industrialization path. He influenced many younger physiocrates.

• Francois Quesnay: Formally a fellow of the ‘economistes’ or ‘physiocrates’, was known for his popularization of the ‘tableau economique’ (economic table, title of his book), bringing political economy closer to empirical science.

• Jean C.M.V. de Gournay: Another eminent fellow of the ‘physiocrates’, who collaborated with Quesnay in advancing principles of political economy.

• Nicolas Baudeau : Wrote Introduction a la philosophie économique (1771).

• G. F. Le Trosne: wrote De l’ordre social (1777).

• André Morellet: “ best known by his controversy with Galiani on the freedom of the grain trade during the Flour War” (quoted from Wikipedia).

• Mercier Larivière and Dupont de Nemours: Also eminent members of the ‘physiocrates’.

Smith actually lived in Paris during his youthful heydays, where he stayed with the equally youthful Duke of Buccleuch circa 1764-1766. The Parisian exposure was Smith’s way of baptism into the illustrious physiocrats’ thought streams, and the rest was history.

So to my fellows in the professional world and this planet who continue to churn thoughts that Smith was the ‘originator of capitalism’, please rethink your opinions. Historical facts do not the least substantiate your thesis. Rather, what is right is that Smith brought political economy even closer to empirical science than ever, and his Wealth of Nations was a monumental effort during his time to construct a text book on the subject that was considerably a scientific material more than philosophy (ethics, metaphysics) though Smith still wrote philosophical treatises within the ambit of the methods of philosophy.

I need not belabor the point that Smith didn’t invent empiricism. Just by reflecting on the names above, one can see the names of giant figures in British empiricism (e.g Hume, Locke), who themselves took off from intellectual giants that preceded them (e.g. Francis Bacon).

So, please disabuse yourselves of Smith as ‘originator’ of anything. He never even boasted of originating anything at all. Rather, he systematized thought constructs that were already prevalent during his heyday. The purposes of his economic doctrines were already explained in some other articles writ by me.

[Philippines, 22 August 2008]

TRADE & HUNGER: SALVING HUNGER VIA TRADE POLICY

August 18, 2014

TRADE & HUNGER: SALVING HUNGER VIA TRADE POLICY
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Let me continue on the issue of hunger, which many politicians are raising howls this early in time for the 2010 polls. The tendency right now, with politicians’ short-sightedness and poverty of wisdom, is that hunger will be perpetuated and sustained even long after the same politicians are all dead.

In the study on fair trade & food security I did for the national center for fair trade and food security (KAISAMPALAD), I already raised the howl about hunger and recommended policy and institutional intervention.

Since other experts, notably nutritionists, already highlighted many factors to hunger and under-nutrition, such as lifestyle problems, economics, and lack of appropriate public policy, I preferred to highlight in that study the factor of trade on food insecurity and the hunger malaise. Let me cite some cases here to show how trade and hunger are directly related:

• Immediately after the termination of the sugar quota of the USA for Philippine-sourced sugar in the early 80s, the domestic sugar industry collapsed. 500,000 hungry sugar workers and their dependents had to line up for food, a tragedy and calamity that shamed the country before the international community. Till these days, the trauma caused by that ‘line up for porridge’ solution remains among those children of those days who are now adults, one of whom became my student at the University of the Philippines Manila campus (a girl).

• Two years ago, a cargo ship carrying PETRON oil to the Visayas got struck with leaks and a tragic spillage covering wide swaths of sea waters. The island province of Guimaras suffered catastrophically from that incident, its economy was as bad as a war-torn economy for one year. Its marginal fishers couldn’t fish for at least one year as the sea spillage had to cleaned up. The hunger and under-nutrition caused by that tragedy is indubitably related to a trade activity: oil being transported to a predefined destination.

• At the instance of trade liberalization on fruits upon the implementation of a series of GATT-related and IMF-World Bank sanctioned measures that began during the Cory Aquino regime, the massive entry of apples and fruit imports immediately crashed tens of thousands of producers of local mangoes, guavas and oranges, as domestic consumers (with their colonial flair for anything imported) chose to buy fruit imports in place of local ones. Economic dislocation and hunger instantly resulted from the trade liberalization policy.

The list could go on and on, as we go from one economic and/or population to another. What is clear here is that trade measures and activities do directly lead to food insecurity and the attendant problems of malnutrition and hunger. In the case of the Guimaras oil spillage calamity, humanitarian hands such as the Visayan provinces and Manila’s mayors’ offices, added to private and NGO groups, quickly moved to help the affected residents. Of course the PETRON itself took responsibility for the spillage, clean up, and offered humanitarian help as well. But did trade stakeholders ever paid for the hunger malaise suffered by the sugar workers and families, fruit small planters, and other families in the aftermath of shifting trade policy?

A strategic solution to trade-related hunger would be to constitute a Hunger Fund, whose funds shall come from at least 0.1% of all tariffs (on imports). A 0.1% tariff alone today translates to P800 million approximately, or close to $20 Million. This can serve as an insurance of sorts for trade-induced hunger. The funds will then be administered by an appropriate body, comprising of representatives from diverse sectors and headed by a nutritional scientist of international repute (e.g Dr. Florencio) rather than by a politician or ignoramus species.

Furthermore, insurance groups here can begin to innovate on food production-related insurance to cover force majeure damages. Cyclone insurance and earthquake insurance would be strong options for agricultural producers, even as other options can be designed most urgently.

I would admit that trade-related hunger and its solutions are practicable for the productive sectors of our population. There are 2.3 million street people today who comprise the relatively ‘unproductive sectors’, who all suffer from hunger. This need to be tackled as a distinct sector and problem, and discussed separately.

[Phiippines, 28 July 2008]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION: SHOWCASING PHILIPPINES

February 18, 2012

FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION: SHOWCASING PHILIPPINES

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The government decentralization that has been going on in the Philippines for the duration of the post-Martial Law/Dictatorship era (dictatorship deposed in 1986) seems to have caught the attention of urban observers worldwide.

As a gesture of interest on the Philippine experience, the United Nations recently published a book showcasing the same country’s fiscal decentralization. The series of laws (since the legislation of the local government code) and practices has come a long way since the mid-80s yet, which renders the ASEAN member state as an exemplar for global studies on urbanization, public administration, and taxation economics.

Below is the information about the said publication.

[Philippines, 07 February 2012]

Source: http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=3262

Fiscal Decentralisation in Philippines
Global Urban Economic dialogue series (Series title)
This report examines the fiscal decentralisation experience in Philippines. Since 1991, the central government has devolved significant spending, taxing, and borrowing powers to local governments. This paper discusses fiscal decentralization in the Philippines. It reviews the tax regimes in view of the vertical and horizontal fiscal gaps. Local governments receive intergovernmental fiscal transfer or block grants called the ‘internal revenue allotment’ based on a formula that has population, land size and equal sharing as criteria. In contrast, performance-based grants seem to open pathways for instilling greater accountability on the part of local governments. To make financing more accessible and competitive to local governments, it demonstrates the need to pursue further reforms in credit markets.
Other titles in Global Urban Economic dialogue series:
• Economic Development and Housing Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore 2011
• Economic Role of Cities 2011
• Fiscal Decentralisation in Philippines 2011
• Gender and Economic Development 2011
• Impact of Global Financial Crisis on Housing Finance 2011
• Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction and Economic Development in Africa 2011
• Microfinance, Poverty Reduction and Millennium Development Goals 2011
• Organisation, Management and Evaluation of Housing Cooperatives in Kenya 2010
• Public-Private Partnership in Housing and Urban Development 2011
The Sub Prime Crisis: The Crisis of Over-Spending 2011

DOWNLOAD: (906 Kb)

ISBN Series Number: 978-92-1-132027-5
ISBN: 978-92-1-132414-3
HS Number: 129/11E
Series Title: Global Urban Economic dialogue series
Pages: 52
Year: 2012
Publisher: UN-HABITAT
Co-Publisher : – Not available –
Languages: English
Themes: Urban Finance, Urban Economy and Financing Shelter
Countries:
Branch/Office: Executive Director

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

October 27, 2011

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

African development stakeholders better go through a rethink of their development strategies and frameworks during the past decades. The challenge is for African experts and specialists to re-tool and configure new ‘best practices’ in aid of facilitating risk management as framework and strategy for achieving development goals.

 

The global framework is that of the Millenium Development Goal or MDG which most member countries of the UN committed to support and enact. The 2015 deadline nears, which makes it so tight a schedule to put into practice the emerging frameworks, strategies and tools. Chances are that the MDG goals may me achieved below the expected results or ‘barely passing rate’.

 

Below is a reportage about Africa’s poor nations’ chances to manage risks as a way to achieving the MDG.

 

[Philippines, 28 October 2011]

 

Support: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2011/10/06/helping-africa-s-poor-to-manage-risks-key-to-region-s-progress-says-new-report-.html

 

Helping Africa’s poor to manage risks key to region’s progress, says new report

06 October 2011

New York — African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards, according to “Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, a region-specific report released today.

This year’s annual report shows that such policies will help in the region’s steady progress on some of the MDGs, eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

In spite of this progress, recent food, fuel and financial crises, coupled with threats from climate change and the recent instability in North Africa are likely to affect the region’s MDG achievement.

“We urge policy-makers to recalibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as handouts but rather as measures to strengthen productive assets,” said the authors of the foreword to the report.

According to the report, national schemes, such as pensions, safety nets and school feeding programmes, can impact positively on several MDGs by addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, providing them with labor market skills and safeguards against relapses into poverty.

The document lays out a number of success stories in the area of policy, including Algeria’s social protection scheme that contributed to reducing unemployment from 30 to 10 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Ethiopia’s 2005-2008 public works projects that led to construction of nearly 4,500 rural classrooms and improved food security for 7.8 million citizens.

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, covering 67 percent of the population, cut out-of-pocket expenditure for health by 50 percent. In Malawi, agricultural subsidies and outreach services resulted in an increase in the number of food-secure households, from 67 to 99 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Such schemes provide immediate protection for the poor while also making a longer term contribution to creating dynamic economies and more resilient societies, according to the report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Tracking MDGs

Thanks to policy innovations and social protection schemes, Africa has made steady progress on a number of targets. For example, it increased primary school enrolment rates from 65 to 83 percent between 1999 and 2008.

In addition, 80 percent of the 36 African countries that have data for 1990 to 2010 increased the number of women in parliament during that period; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have dropped from just under six percent in 2001 to five percent in 2009.

However, while all regions of the world made progress on reducing maternal mortality, Africa faces a formidable task on this indicator, with several countries showing averages of 1,000 deaths per 100,000.

In addition, although the population with access to safe drinking water increased from 56 to 65 percent between 1990 and 2008, the rate of progress is insufficient for the continent to reach the 2015 MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Progress on some of the MDGs may have stalled or been reversed by the impact of the global economic crisis on Sub-Saharan Africa where the proportion of those earning less than US$1.25 a day decreased from 67 to 58 percent between 1998 and 2008.

More than 20 percent of young people in North Africa, for example, remained unemployed in 2008, while more than 75 percent of the labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa had vulnerable jobs in 2009.

In addition to carefully targeted and fiscally sound social safeguards, the report says more attention should be focused on designing strategies that promote job-rich growth and increase agricultural productivity.

To access the report, please visit http://www.undp.org/africa/mdg/

Contact Information

Ethiopia:

UNECA – Yinka Adeyemi, Tel: +251-11-5443537, yadeyemi@uneca.org,

AUC – Noureddine Mezni, Mobile: +251911511723

NewYork: UNDP – NicolasDouillet, +1.212.906.5937, nicolas.douillet@undp.org

Tunisia: AfDB – Pénélope Pontet deFouquières, +216 71 10 12 50, p.pontetdefouquieres@afdb.org

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:

http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.bizhttp://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonzahttp://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.comhttp://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net

 

MAD BOMBINGS OF UN WORKERS WON’T STOP DEVELOPMENT WORK

October 20, 2011

MAD BOMBINGS OF UN WORKERS WON’T STOP DEVELOPMENT WORK

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Mad bombings in Abuja won’t stop social development work by the UN agencies notably the United Nations Development Programme o UNDP. This is surely a most welcome move, as UN workers involved in social development have brought home results based on our experiences in PH and Asia.

 

I still recall the blog I published earlier about the Abuja bombing. After posting it,  so-called ‘liberal’ in a blog site retorted that “the UN is an evil agency.” Liberalism and conservatism are two sides of the same coin, and the dividing line between the liberal-conservative domain and fascism is a thin one. Political partisans are of the Herd mind or morons who are in fact being orchestrated from Above by the ideological operators of global Elites to continuously foment global anarchy or ‘synarchy’ and polarization.

 

True, the United Nations is being maneuvered by the Rockefeller section of the global elites, the same Rockefellers who donated the UN estate in New York. But to say that the UN is an instrument to make morons out of the non-Western participants (the global Elites are centered in the West) is to reveal the partisans’ ridiculously substandard to subhuman minds.

 

Killing social development personnel of the UN agency isn’t justified at all by the maneuverings being done by the Elites within the UN. Only Demoniacs or sociopaths would feel glorified by the deaths of true professionals and community servants in the hands of terrorists.

 

[Philippines, 20 October 2011]

 

Source: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2011/10/05/nigeria-un-work-continues-after-bombing-says-undp-chief.html

 

Nigeria: UN work continues after bombing, says UNDP chief

05 October 2011

UNDP chief Helen Clark lays a wreath at the damaged UN headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria Tuesday on the first day of her three day official visit to Nigeria. The August 26 bomb blast killed 23 people, including 11 UN staff, and injured more than 100. (Credit: UNDP)

Abuja UNDP Chief Helen Clark met with UN staff and toured the damaged UN headquarters in Abuja yesterday on the first day of her three day official visit to Nigeria.

“These were unarmed civilians who had dedicated their lives to helping the people of Nigeria,” said Clark after she laid a wreath at the site of the bombing.  “This senseless attack will not stop our critical development work here.”

The August 26 bomb blast killed 23 people, including 11 UN staff, and injured more than 100.

“I have been very shocked, and to see the scale here today is very sobering indeed.”

Later in the day, Clark met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan who expressed condolences to the UN and lauded UNDP’s work globally.  Speaking after the meeting, Helen Clark thanked the President for his support and pledged continued support to Nigeria’s development priorities, including the President’s job creation scheme.

“Nigeria has a tremendous role to play in the continent, and overcoming its challenges can be a lesson for other countries,” she said.  “With the threat of global recession, times are tough, and we will also focus our efforts on the imperative of employment, so as to fulfil the aspirations of young people.”

The President acknowledged that youth unemployment remained a challenge in Nigeria, and that by November of this year, 56% of the 166 million Nigerians will be under the age of 35.

“These young people have to acquire skills, find work, proper housing, and a place in society,” said President Jonathan. “We want every young person to create employment for 5 other young people, and thus develop a multiplier effect.  We are launching a major youth entrepreneurship program this month, and we welcome our partners’ assistance in this initiative.”

Helen Clark also met with the Minister of the National Planning Commission Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru, and Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. She is accompanied by Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP Africa Bureau, Mr. Tegegnework Gettu.

Contact Information

In Abuja:
Anthony Dioka
UNDP Nigeria Communication Associate
Anthony.dioka@undp.org
Tel: +234 803 291 3085

In Dakar:
Maimouna Mills
UNDP Regional Communication Adviser
Maimouna.mills@undp.org
Tel: +234 706 860 2318 // +221 77 529 1298

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:

http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.bizhttp://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonzahttp://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.comhttp://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net

 

HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

July 1, 2011

HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day from the boondocks west of Manila!

Below are update studies and reports done regarding health. The greater focus on the materials is reproductive health. This has great relevance for the Philippines in particular, where reproductive health has been a raging public policy issue for some time now.

There is so much mis-understanding about reproductive health on the side of church players and conservative groups who now manifestly equate reproductive health with killing babies. It is best that those stakeholders should get exposed to the research & development updates about reproductive health, and they should desist from using reproductive health to heap up hysteria aimed at a new Inquisition that will see millions of ‘heathen burnt at stake’.

[Philippines, 26 June 2011]

Source: http://www.eldis.org

Maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health

Produced by: The Global Health Council (2010)

This position paper on maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health contains detailed information about each health area, the key interventions that are needed and the Global Health Council’s positions and recommendations for making progress in these areas.

Key conclusions from this paper are:
• improved maternal, newborn and child health can enable families to break out of a cycle of ill health and poverty that may otherwise continue for generations.
• smaller family size and appropriately spaced births allow families and governments to invest more in each child’s education and health, which raises productivity and economic growth.
• poor health adversely affects family income, caregiving, and productivity.
• illness and death contribute to the impoverishment of families through medical expenditures they can ill afford, reducing funds for necessities, such as food and education.
The paper also makes the following recommendations:
• promote integrated programmes.
• focus on health systems.
• establish standard metrics and methodologies.
• conduct epidemiological assessments.
• deliver health systems in an equitable manner.
• promote national authority.
• hold stakeholders accountable for results.
• increase resources to maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health.
• increase support to country-led efforts.
• harmonise funding from all sources.
• hold governements to their international agreement commitments.
• encourage partnerships and evidence- based programming.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58177

Champions for children: state of the world’s mothers 2011

Produced by: Save the Children Fund, USA (2011)

This State of the World’s Mothers report ranks 164 countries on women’s access to health care, education and opportunities. Whereas millions of children are alive today because of past investments in lifesaving programs, the authors note that 22,000 children still perish per day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.

The authors contend that Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother. Also, eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe, and the remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. On the other hand, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The worst place in the world to be a mother, according to the authors, is Afghanistan. The authors argue that despite ongoing conflict and rising civilian casualties, expecting mothers in Afghanistan are at least 200 times more likely to die during childbirth than from bombs or bullets. A case in point is the fact that one in 11 Afghan women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications in her lifetime and only 14 percent of mothers in the country give birth with help from any kind of skilled health worker. In Norway, by comparison, the risk of maternal mortality is only 1 in 7,600 and nearly all births are attended by skilled help.

The report notes that in many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high.

In light of this, the authors conclude that while many countries are making progress, many are still lagging behind and thus in need of support. Finally, the authors argue that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58077

Good practice guide: community mobilisation through women’s groups to improve the health of mothers and babies

Produced by: Women and Children First (UK) (2011)

This good practice guide, based on the experience of a project in India and Bangladesh called Saving Mothers and Children, describes an approach that has the potential to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, and to address other health problems. The project worked through women’s groups, using a participatory learning and action cycle, to mobilise community action to improve the health of mothers and babies.

The aim of the guide is to provide a case study of good practice in working with women’s groups to address maternal and newborn health and to share lessons learned from this experience. While the guide describes an approach used in rural communities in India and Bangladesh, this can be successfully adapted to different contexts.

In India, the project resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in newborn deaths and a reduction in maternal deaths, as well as a 57 per cent reduction in moderate maternal depression. In Bangladesh, the project resulted in an increase in uptake of health services. In both India and Bangladesh, the project resulted in a significant improvement in hygienic delivery practices, including use of delivery kits, and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding.

The project was implemented by an NGO, Ekjut, in India and the PerinatalCare Project of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) in Bangladesh, together with the University College London Centre for International Health and Development and Women and Children First, an international NGO based in the UK.

In India, Ekjut worked in tribal communities in West Singhbhum and Saraikela Kharswan districts of Jharkhand State and the Keonjhar district of Orissa State. In Bangladesh, BADAS worked with three rural districts, Bogra, Faridpur and Moulavibazar.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58074

Saving new born lives in Nigeria: new born health in the context of the integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy

Produced by: Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria (2011)

This report contains new data that shows that as the death toll in Nigeria is falling, the percentage of deaths that happen in the first month of life is increasing. The authors report that newborn deaths now make up 28% of all deaths under five years compared to 24% two years ago. Also, six out of 10 mothers give birth at home without access to skilled care during childbirth and it is in the first few days of life when both women and newborns are most at risk. The authors argue that, since 241,000 babies die in the first month of life in Nigeria every year, Nigeria is the African country with the highest newborn death toll.

Key findings from the report:
• Nigeria’s mothers, newborns and children are dying in large numbers – nearly 3,000 each day.
• most of these young lives could be saved with existing interventions.
• the key interventions to save newborn lives are mostly possible through the existing health system and will prevent the deaths of mothers and older children– but coverage remains very low.
• more than a third of children’s deaths are attributed to maternal and child undernutrition.
• the policies needed to reduce newborn mortality are mostly in place and the cost is affordable.
• inadequate funding and stewardship of resources at all levels hampers the performance of the Nigerian health care system.
• the Nigerian health system is relatively rich in human resources comparedto many other African countries. However, there is inequitable distribution of staff to offer maternal, newborn and child health services.

The report calls for an increased focus on reducing newborn deaths, the vast majority of which are avoidable. The authors contend that thousands of newborn lives can be saved via simple methods, such as teaching mothers about danger signs, encouraging them to seek help early and making sure there is enough medicine and enough healthcare workers at community health centres. Whereas the policies are mostly in place and the cost is affordable, the authors argue that priority must be given to implementing these policies and making sure all families receive essential care.

Recommended actions for healthcare decision makers:
• ensure leadership, appropriate funding and accountability.
• orient policies, guidelines and services to include newborn care.
• effectively plan for and implement policies, including human resources, equipment and supplies.
• track progress and use the data to improve programmes.
• inform and communicate.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=57803

See our Health Resource Guide for a complete list of new additions at: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/health

KHADAFY IS DEMONIC!

February 25, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening to all fellow global citizens!

First of all, I extend my solidarity to all struggling Libyan pro-democracy people. Being among the youthful political activists that overthrew the dictator Marcos in my beloved Philippines twenty-five years ago, I do identify well with the young patriots of Libya and Arab states that are clamoring for democratic governance via civil dis-obedience or ‘people power’.

As to the Jurassic perpetual president of Libya, Col. Moammar Khadafy, I have only a single word to describe him today: DEMONIC! Khadafy had ceased to be a human being, had crossed over to the terrain of the demonic, and had lost all sense of touch with reality in his country and the planet.

I couldn’t say exactly as to the precise time that Khadafy had been dominated by his own Inner Demon. He could have very well been formerly human, but judging by the way he exhibited his cruelty towards his very own people, he had ceased to be human at all.

Let it be clarified that I have no penchant for demonizing the estranged leader of Libya. On the contrary, I was once among those who sympathized with Khadafy and the socialist movement that he led. His movement overthrew the archaic state of Libya and replaced it with a republican form, albeit under his authoritarian stewardship.

Being then enamored to militant nationalist 3rd world movements that veered towards the Left, I strived hard to study the same movements and the ideologies that underpinned them. I was likewise involved with a domestic nationalist movement here in Filipinas.

From a cousin of mine did I receive a copy of Khadafy’s ‘green book’, which to my own amusement espoused an Arab form of socialism. Khadafy was well attuned to the secular nationalist to socialist ideologies then raging popularly among Arabs, exemplified by the Ba’ath Party ideology.

But time had elapsed, and the ideological trappings of the patriotic dictators of Arab lands have ossified. Entrenched in power for so long, there was only greed and lust for power, aside from lust for blood, that characterized the governance by the said authoritarian regimes.

From ‘green book’ socialism to militaristic obscurantism, Khadafy’s incumbency has borne witness to the shift from rational-legal modality to the Demonic Mind. To direct air force planes to bombard peaceful demonstrators, on top of the savage gunning down of the same protesters by blood-thirsty troops, is indicative of the lost of touch with conscience and reason.

Khadafi and his close minions are no longer human beings and should by all means be overthrown from power. Not only that, they should be tried for war crimes by the United Nations or equivalent international body. They should pay heavily for their crimes against the Libyan nation.

I won’t be surprised if, at this very moment, more sane minds in Africa are now hatching contingency measures such as to send a continentally-sanctioned invasion force to flash out the dirty & demonic regime of Khadafy. Africa should act fast and sweepingly decisive and demonstrate the same political will that it exhibited to flash out demonic regimes such as the previous genocidal regime of Rwanda.

Such an option is only a contingency ‘plan B’ option and need not be resorted to. The people of Libya are getting the upper hand in the move to institute democracy in their nation, they represent the nation in fact, and the nation should be prevail over an unjust, demonic regime that had lost all legitimacy to govern.

Khadafi is not the Libyan nation, and the nation is not Khadafi.

Hail the pro-democracy youthful patriots of Libya! You shall overcome!

[Philippines, 22 February 2011]

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com

‘CLASH OF GENERATIONS’ IN ARAB TURMOIL

February 25, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang araw sa inyo! Good day to you all! To the Arab pro-democracy forces, kudos for your initial successes in Tunisia and Egypt!

The unfolding democratization of Arab republics via people power means has got many sympathetic eyes aglow outside the Arab world. That includes this analyst who was among the youthful professionals that militantly brought down the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

The clash within the Arab republics should not be equated, however, to a simplistic ‘clash of ideologies’. Neither is the conflict some ‘clash of civilizations’ that is being propagated today by the global oligarchy through sub-altern extremist groups.

I would prefer to highlight the conflict as a ‘clash of generations’. Though no fan of the Japanese technocrat Kenichi Ohmae, I am in tune with his thesis that the conflicts of the future will be one of ‘clash of generations’.

Much earlier than Ohmae, the Frankfurt school thinkers Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas already articulated on the discourse of the youth taking the cudgels for world-changing endeavors. The social turmoils of the 1960s up through the early ‘70s were largely initiated by the Youth, in far contrast to previous ones that were led by the working class astride a socialist ideology.

Fact of the matter is, the working class (via socialist parties) has been tailing behind in those conflicts of the past. In the Arab turmoils of the day, the influential Islamic groups have been quite tailing behind in initiating the protests versus the Permanent President regimes. It were the young ones—youth and young middle aged citizens—who initiated and manned the protest actions, though they may have seen light in some token senior citizen figures.

One shouldn’t make the slap-stick comedy that the Arab revolutions—that toppled perpetual presidents in Tunisia and Egypt—were genuine successes of ‘anarchist’ movements. That goes back to old hat 19th century ideological discourse, and as I’ve stated earlier, the clash is not one of ideologies.

The Turmoil (with capital T to stress) in the Arab republics is one of ‘clash of generations’. It practically pitted the old versus the young. The older ones, who support the entrenched political elites, are those grounded in ideology cum clientelist politics. The younger ones, who are largely ‘netizens’, possess an outlook or perspective that is more global or trans-ideology, though their emerging discourses tend to appropriate from available ‘nation’ and ‘people’ discourse of old.

The Arab revolutions have some remarkable features that contrast with the people power revolutions that overthrew military dictatorships of the late 20th century. The earlier revolutions (such as my own country’s in 86) were largely led by the ‘middle class’ or ‘middle forces’, while the Arab revolutions were initiated by young ‘netizens’ with a rather de-centered social feature or one that can’t be reduced to the class question.

Some quarters may hazard some reflections, using Edward Said and Antonio Gramsci, that intellectuals were the core articulators of the social turbulence. That would be belaboring the obvious by highlighting the micro-facets of the change, or those structures and processes that even kindergarten minds can easily perceive.

There is an over-arching change going on in the psyche of the younger generation Arabs of the day, and it pays to observe and use the logic of induction to conclude about what that change is. Or better still, employ ‘logic of abduction’ as what Charles Sanders Peirce innovated on, by holding in abeyance any hypothesis about the phenomenon, and generate the hypothesis, discourse, and conclusions later.

For now, let us bring the message across to global Western oligarchy to desist from further manipulating the Arabs’ turmoil for their ulterior motives. Like the turbulence going on in the global economy that isn’t susceptible to oligarchic manipulation, the Arabs’ ‘clash of generations’ is no stuff for manipulation by the same evil oligarchs who comprise the secret government called ‘new world order’.

The oligarchic cabals should recognize by now that their strangulation of peoples’ psyche and souls for nigh eons is now coming to a close. It is now time to consider moving away from polarities towards cooperation, consensus, and Oneness that is, in fact, the compass of the future.

[Philippines, 21 February 2011]

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com

ARAB TURMOIL DERAILS WORLD WAR III AGENDA OF GLOBAL OLIGARCHY

February 22, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Arab social turbulence has been rocking the world news straight for many days now. Let’s continue our reflections on the subject, and see how the turmoil dovetails on the agenda of the global financier oligarchs to wage a World War III by pitting a Sunni-Israel alliance versus Shiite Iran.

 

Since the 3rd quarter of of 2010 yet, the Israeli forces have begun large scale trainings and preparations for a frontal attack on Iran. That secret training was being done in Romania, probably with echo trainings elsewhere. The war should happen within months’ time since inception of preparations, which means the first semester of 2011.

 

I’ve already written articles last year concerning that Sunni-Israel alliance going to war versus Iran. My analysis was that ancient racial memories, long dormant in the collective unconscious, are awakening again, and those memories revive the old hatreds between the Semites and the Persians.

 

However, the recent social turbulence in the Arab republics—whose presidents seem to be chief execs for life—has become a new ‘flavor of the year’ for the Arabs. The turbulence could have brought enormous alarm bells on the Anglo-American-European financiers who may have been caught unprepared by the turmoil incidence.

 

Thus, in the event of sustained widespread social turmoil among Arab republics, the global oligarchs’ options for solidifying a Sunni-Israel alliance will be short-circuited. The oligarchs will be forced to rely on the sheikhdoms & emirates, the bastions of archaic political cultures, as base for the Sunni counterpart of the alliance.

 

The sheikhs & emirs were actually integrated into the power orbit of the global oligarchy and form a part of the intricate web of elite networks led by the Northern/Western financiers. Saudi Arabia’s nobles have in fact prepared well for a larger conflagration with Iran, as evidenced by the voracious arms purchases worth hundreds of billions of dollars that they have been undertaking.

 

In the event of an all-out war between the Sunni-Israel or Semitic Alliance versus Shiite Iran (Persia), the same elites will cash in gargantuan sums out of speculative & portfolio finance that will be moving out of the region during the hot confrontations alone. Then, when war will be over, they will buy estates and wrecked enterprises in Iran and contiguous countries at cheap dirt prices. They did that in Europe after the 2nd world war, and in the Eastern European countries after the collapse of the Stalinist states in 1989.

 

But here now comes the social turbulence, and we can only surmise what thoughts the same oligarchs have about the events there. Chances are that they are being challenged to cash in on the turbulence right away, by moving ‘smart money’ in and out of the affected Arab region during the turbulence.

 

Another X event that could happen is when the turmoil will engulf the sheikhdoms & emirates as well. With such internal political fires taking their toils on the archaic Arab states, a World War III will become less feasible. Israel will be compelled to go it alone versus Iran, and that is a terribly suicidal option.

 

The only option left for the global oligarchs is to engineer the prepositioning of their organized forces inside the Arab states, both republic and archaic, notably the Sunni fundamentalist sects. The Muslim Brotherhood, to recall, was constituted decades ago yet by the British intelligence, for purposes of advancing their polarity agenda.

 

The fall of the Arab republics into the hands of Islamic groups will surely be a boon to the global oligarchs. The next challenge for them will be to get the new Islamic theocracies to crystallize a tactical alliance versus Iran, and enjoin them in the Zionist war versus Shiite Iran.

 

But to manipulate Arab politics so as to install Shiite theocracies into power is “suntok sa buwan” as we say in Filipino. That phrase translates to “punch the moon,” or next to impossible. The option is high stakes gambling, and that is outside the agenda set by the oligarchs a long time ago now (see notes about the American freemason Albert Pike, whose 19th century agenda of war pre-defined the larger conflagrations of the 20th and 21st centuries).

 

Let us all continue to watch the unfolding events in the Arab region as a whole. As of this writing, the stock markets and petrol trade across the globe are being rattled by the social turbulence.

 

[Philippines, 18 February 2011]

 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

 

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

 

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

 

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

 

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

 

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com

 

 

ARAB REPUBLICS’ PERMANENT PRESIDENTS

February 22, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

 

Political turbulence is manifestly the most featured template of the day for Arab republics. The bone of contention by polarized forces is whether to extend incumbent presidents’ terms. So let me share some reflective notes about the intriguing subject.

 

As a keen observer of political economic events, I can verily see that Arab republics have the penchant for electing presidents who would be chief execs for life. In the Vatican they do the same: elect a Pope for life. Albeit, the Vatican is no republic but a theocracy that has evolved its own structures, processes and culture through time, and so the Vatican’s chief exec can sit prettily for life unhampered by possible protests that would see His Holiness’ overthrow.

 

Republics are modern forms of states, and Arab republics chose democratic governance as the process for choosing leaders and/or policy-makers. Expectedly, republics must show exemplary behavior by changing national leaders periodically and give way to others who are perceived as responsible and capable of meeting the job expectations of a chief exec.

 

Even the Peoples Republic of China follows the norms of governance for choosing leaders. True, the Communist Party has a monopoly of governance in the rising star of Asia, but Chinese do choose the leaders from among qualified Communist cadres. Since after Deng Shao Ping, no one has ever become president or prime minister for life, so nobody can ever satirically remark a “Pope Hu Jintao” to denigrate China’s very capable president.

 

Unfortunately, the Arab presidencies haven’t been complying with the accepted norms of republican leadership. Take the case of Iraq that was for a long time governed by “Pope Saddam” as chief exec. “Pope Saddam” seems to be the model of the presidents of Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, and other Arab states that traversed the republican trajectory of statehood.

 

Had it been clearly stipulated in the charters of the republican states that their respective presidents will be chief execs for life, the constituents will not begrudge the nation’s echelon whatsoever. But that isn’t the case, as charters do clearly stipulate the fixed terms for chief execs, and that is where tensions can arise in the course of tenures of over-staying presidents.

 

Grand deceptions can indeed be cooked and cooked well so as to be digested by obedient herds of constituents, as the Arab presidencies have perpetually flaunted on their folks. But no one can fool all the people all the time, and sooner or later there will be outbursts of detractions coming from a diversity of oppositionist forces.

 

The Arab republics’ Permanent President (with capital letters to stress the point) had already come full circle, and can no longer be recycled in an unending vicious circle. The phenomenon of ‘rising expectations’ has finally caught up with the system of national governance of perpetuity, thus causing huge explosions of public outrage across the said states.

 

Regime change’ is now the most urgent task falling upon the shoulders of responsible constituents. Relentless protests are waged, akin to the protests waged versus military dictatorships in developing states in Latin America and Asia in the 1980s and ‘90s.

 

Portugal’s parallel overthrow of its long-term dictatorship took place much earlier in the 1970s. Dubbed as the ‘velvet revolution’, it was followed a bit later by the Philippine ‘people power’ revolution that overthrew the dictator Marcos. The same phenomenon of massive, relentless protests marked the political landscape in these countries and others that was capped by the overthrow of the existing permanent presidents.

 

Arabs are latecomers in the matter of people empowerment, but it is “better late than never.” The die has been cast on the side of people power, and so one by one shall the permanent presidents be taken down. Arab republics’ constituencies are showing courage and audacity in fomenting change, risking lives and limbs to achieve the goal of reforms, and they are inspired by the recent precedents of Tunisia and Egypt.

 

The momentum of change through people power has already picked up. Arab presidents should better heed the demands for their graceful exits now, or else they face the option of a full-scale civil war of which no one will be winner in the long-run.

 

[Philippines, 18 February 2011]

 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

 

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

 

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

 

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

 

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

 

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com

 

NAZI HEALTHCARE AGENDA RISING IN AMERICA

February 22, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

It is night time as I write this note. The easterly winds have been blowing, seemingly reminding us here of the coming hot days. While this happens, winter has been bringing storms in America, storms that accompanied the torpedoing of the new health bill, the torpedo ‘storm troopers’ being the neo-fascistic ‘Tea Party’ of the Republican Party.

 

The world is watching the unfolding events in America concerning health care. This analyst is among those keenly interested, as the matter of making health care accessible to everyone in my own country has been a mind-boggling challenge for the development experts. We have been scouting around for models of health care accessibility, and the concept of ‘universal healthcare’ that some experts are espousing in the USA is worth examining.

 

A question that arises from the unfolding events is this: is health care headed for a new summer in America, or is it moving towards a long winter? The enthused readers can go ahead and choose to discuss the matter, and generate their own opinions about it.

 

My own reflection about the matter makes me conclude preliminarily that America’s health care is heading towards a parallelism with the Nazi health care of the Hitler’s heydays in Germany. Nazi policy in health means a dichotomous delivery of access to health: make those strongest physically and mentally have access to state-sponsored health care, while close the access to those who are the weakest.

 

To reduce the cost of sustaining a state-sponsored health care program, eliminate those who are the weakest. Round up those with lingering ailments, the lame and blind, the ‘subhuman’ or below-normal intelligence, and so on, line them up on the wall and machine gun them to death.

 

My own reading of the events in America makes me see, among other things, the increasing closure of health care to the impoverished families and individuals there. Poverty now exceeds 40 Millions of Americans, with the Blacks and Latinos comprising the greatest percentage of ethnicities below poverty line.

 

It seems, as of now, that no one single political force has a monopoly of Nazi-type health policies there. True, the fascist wing of the Republicans, coming under the names of ‘Tea Party’ and ‘neo-conservatives’, have deep, elitist, condescending scorn for poor folks and colored peoples who are receiving too much state attention via welfare subsidies for health. But that is belaboring the obvious.

 

There are forces within the Democrat Party—masquerading in the mantle of liberalism—who would have none of the drift of America towards a Welfare State akin to what befell Europe. They know that America’s coffers don’t cough up enough funds for subsidies, so what they do is pretend to be pro-people by voting for bills that allocate greater state subsidies for health care.

 

Such forces are making use of political parties as Trojan Horses to wage a sadistic attack against the poor people of America. They will brook no quarters in excluding the poorer folks, including immigrants, from mainstream health care, and they commit the heinous act through rigmaroles of legislative fiats.

 

While such new Nazis, and real Nazis to stress the point, fiddle their superficial policy agenda and do backroom maneuvers that concern health care, hundreds of thousands of poor folks die yearly of every kind of ailment there. By dilly-dallying on the galvanization of the ‘universal health care’ idea alone, numerous dying folks are already being sacrificed in the altar of Evil there.

 

Let us all watch closely the events concerning health care, and see what happens after another year will elapse. If it will be so easy to forecast that more Americans are being kept out of the health care circuits, then rest assured a Nazi killer agenda is in place to satisfy the sadistic lust for blood by demoniacs in the Establishment.

 

That being so, the rest of the world, more so the emerging markets, will add another reason to their rising list of rationales for ignoring America as a recognized leading state by showing leadership through example. The year 2012 will be a clear turning point, when nations will decide whether there is still an iota of leadership that America can demonstrate.

 

Health is wealth, and a nation that closes health care access to its people is a nation without soul and conscience. Other nations should move on in life without that soul-less state to reckon with.

 

[Philippines, 17 February 2011]

 

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

 

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

 

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

 

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

 

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

 

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

 

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com

 

APPLAUSE TO UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS ON ITS QUADRICENTENNIAL

February 16, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

This writer hereby extends Big Kudos to the Dominican-run University of Santo Tomas on its 400th Anniversary!

The University of Santo Tomas or UST, established 400 years ago in the Intramuros district of (old) Manila, has finally grown, matured, and reached international acclaim as an institution of higher learning. It had added milestones to its earlier feat as the oldest university in the Philippines, which renders it worthy of the accolades on its quadricentennial.

I still recall as a young school boy in the 1960s, that my teachers as well as history & geography textbook authors cited the UST as the nest of brilliant youth who later became great minds. Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, obtained his first level of university education from the UST (he took up advanced studies in Europe after the UST stint).

More patriots followed after the footsteps of Dr. Rizal later. The late Manuel L. Quezon, president of the country during the USA’s colonial occupation, was among them. A visionary whose thoughts were to linger long after he was gone, Quezon is among the great patriots of the motherland. He underwent collegiate education in the noble UST.

The UST did not only churn out great men in past eras. In this current context, we have the likes of Bienvenido Lumbera, one of the literary giants of the ASEAN and a National Artist, among UST’s alumni. And so is Brilliante Mendoza, CANNES Film Festival awardee as Best Director, among the long list of upcoming luminaries of the Philippines and the ASEAN.

If there is any coterie of minds that I would give due credit for re-inventing UST that enabled it to be among Asia-Pacific’s top 200 universities, it is the Filipino Dominicans and the Filipino professors who resonated with the innovative designs of their priestly sponsors. The new breed of Dominicans dared to transform the university’s teaching force from one of purely teaching tasks to one of scholarly research faculty broke the long tradition and moved the UST out of stasis.

Without meaning to denigrate the White Dominicans from Europe who dominated UST’s echelon for too long a time, I would have to state candidly that it was during their stewardship that UST stagnated. Thus, it was known for its oldness bereft of the qualitative substance of being a progenitor of new philosophies, arts movements, and scientific R & D.

UST’s faculty was merely tasked to teach, and was assigned huge teaching loads (e.g. teaching 24 units), hence disabling them from engaging in productive research and/or artistic productions. It was during the stagnation phase that the much younger universities—University of the Philippines, Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University—became international universities, breaching the UST’s records by several notches.

I asked some pals of mine in the 80s and early 90s—who were teaching in UST—to share their own opinion regarding the relative stagnation of the UST. Without batting eyelashes, they blamed the over-bearing and subtly racist predominance of White Dominicans for the long stasis. Accordingly, the latter were of the mindset that they came to PH to civilize the Filipinos, a condescending if not arrogant attitude.

I was appraised of the situation within the campus and of the arduous efforts of Filipino Dominicans to make their dent in a context where Jurassic colonial tradition was still strong. By the 1990s the innovative Filipino Dominicans and UST professors were finally making headway. As a result, the UST made it to the top 200 universities in the Asia-Pacific in the late 1990s.

Research institutions have since been evolving within the present campus in the Sampaloc district. Some professorial pals of mine, who were products of the U.P. and DSLU and who took up doctorates in top universities abroad, have decided to base themselves in UST. They are now taking up the cudgels of re-engineering their respective departments, thanks to the new policy environment crafted by Filipino Dominicans.

Finally, as UST’s professorial pool has been up-scaling their research & development capabilities, building research institutions and generating research & publications products, the university is on the way to move UST to the next level, which is that of ‘world university’ status. I am highly supportive of the re-engineering, even as I’m confident the university will get there in the foreseeable future.

[Philippines, 15 February 2011]

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

Social Blogs:

IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:

@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com

@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website & Mixed Blogs:

MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com