Posted tagged ‘United Nations’

HUMAN RIGHTS AGOG IN BARBARITIES & MADNESS

December 4, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Pleasant day to you all!

The Maoists in Manila have just released the update news that an activist (Left-leaning) is killed every week during the incumbency of President Aquino. Maoists constitute the largest Left group in the country, with an organized force large enough to participate in electoral contests and win legislative posts.

That report is surely a very revealing fact. Not only activists, but media men are also the target of summary executions and assassinations in this country, supposedly a bastion of free press in Asia.

Just recently, a topnotch botanist, Leonardo Co, was sprayed with automatic rifle bullets while conducting research on field, killing him and two of his associates. The army unit that is subject of investigation as culprits claimed that the research team was caught in a crossfire between state and rebel forces.

Human rights constitute a totality of entitlements that we have won after so many hard struggles. So much blood has been sacrificed just to make our world a livable one, blood poured to erect the edifices of prosperity, good working environments, balanced ecology, and exercise of our basic freedoms.

During the regime of the previous president Arroyo, an economist with a doctorate among her credentials, hundreds of human rights-related deaths, largely through summary executions by army and police forces, were recorded. No less than the United Nations Commission on Human Rights sent a team to investigate the human rights situation here, with the findings clearly indicating a bad situation for human rights.

Just recently, another team of experts, this time from the Human Rights Watch, did the investigations about the same theme, with focus on those committed in Mindanao. The feudal-fascistic Ampatuan family became the most focal subject of the research, with findings of gory stories of murders committed by Ampatuan politicians blindly intoxicated with power, using state paramilitary forces to commit heinous crimes.

It surely takes time for civility to take shape everywhere else in our planet. Even the bastions of democracy such as the Philippines fail in the tests of indicating successes in building human rights. In the USA, martial law was almost declared during the Bush era, a cryptic act that could have seen millions of Americans jailed and hundreds of thousands exterminated in concentration camps.

In Europe we are witness to the massive prejudices against immigrants, with Muslims appearing to be the key target of slanders and employment discriminations. Sarkozy expelled Romanian Gypsies just a few months ago, and he seems to watch with glee as his economy burns down like hell.

Power assymetries that we though would disappear with the advent of modernity, keep on being recycled in new forms. Rationality—authentic reason characteristic of authentic persons—is fading and giving way to Madness, as lamented by the contemporary philosophers.

Human right is synonymous to civilization, and the full respect of human rights can only happen in a society of rationality, wisdom, and universal love. Such a society operates on the culture of dialogue, the respect for differences, recognition of talents and competencies, and the essential respect for one’s humanity.

Sadly, such a society is not around yet, even as we need to do colossal spade works to build it. I still recall the likes of Jurgen Habermas, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse pontificate about the ‘sane society’, the ideal society that is rational, full of compassion (loving behavior), and productive. I resonate well with the minds of these thinkers who contended that no matter how bad the situation is, hope is there in building that culture of civility in a ‘sane society’.

Such a dream of building a future world can be done in a non-exclusionary way. Let us not tire in doing our spade works to build it.

[Philippines, 02 December 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]

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FORESTRY EDUCATION & TRAINING UPDATE

October 6, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Forestry education is among those human development engagements that are urgently being delivered today.

A study done in Kenya, by Temu A & Kiwia A, examined how future forestry education can respond to expanding societal needs. The study is summarized below.

[04 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]

Future forestry education. Responding to expanding societal needs

Authors: Temu,A.; Kiwia,A.
Produced by: World Agroforestry Centre (2008)

Forestry education in recent years has largely failed to adequately respond to the dynamics in forestry practice, the demands of the job market and the challenges of new global forestry paradigms.

This policy brief consolidates recommendations of the first global workshop on forestry education held in September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by 85 participants from 29 countries representing Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, the workshop deliberated on vital issues for guiding, coordinating and linking relevant institutions and stakeholders in the process of transforming forestry education. They agreed that:

  • increased investment in forestry capacity is imperative
  • improved coordination mechanisms are key at national, regional and global scales to reinforce the quality and content of forestry education and training
  • enhanced harmonisation of forestry with other related sectors is needed in order to achieve synergy of strategies and actions
  • regional and global mechanisms for collaboration in forestry education be established and sustained

The brief asserts that major changes in forestry education, research and practice are urgently needed to improve relevance and popularise forest science, technologies and practices. Obvious implications for neglecting forestry education are noted as:

  • schools of forestry will continue to produce inadequate graduates, lacking the required expertise to handle the emerging complex societal and environmental challenges
  • forestry professional ethics could deteriorate further, leading to indiscriminate destruction of natural resources – the backbone of human livelihood
  • due to the link between agriculture and forestry, the destruction of forests may lead to water flow challenges impacting on food security
  • our knowledge and capacity to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change will remain weak, further accelerating global warming, flash floods and droughts
  • further losses of biodiversity will deny the world of important plants and animals with the potential to solve health and other problems

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=39445&em=240908&sub=enviro

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

September 30, 2008

Erle Frayne 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.

[28 August 2008,Quezon City, MetroManila]

FOOD DELIVERY UPDATES IN LIGHT OF NEW MILF-PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT HOSTILITIES

August 16, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning from Manila!

Below is a news item regarding UN efforts aimed at helping out in the provision of food for those fleeing residents affected by the latest rounds of conflicts between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Close to 130,000 residents were already displaced by the hostilities that have not even geared up for full battles.

As already reported, the contentious issue centers on the ‘ancestral domain’ for Muslims. There were not much public debates about the matter, though in Mindanao various sectors were invited to participate in the deliberations prior to drafting. The disagreements regarding content and implementation led the MILF forces to withdraw from the peace talks, and proceeded with occupation of villages by their armed force.

Below is a news item regarding UN efforts to assist in the food supply chain for the fleeing residents.

[13 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to yahoo.com database news.]

UN begins airlifting food aid to Mindanao

The United Nations has begun airlifting food to Mindanao to avert a major humanitarian crisis as thousands flee fighting between Muslim rebels and troops, officials said yesterday.

 

Fighting continued as soldiers used artillery and helicopter gun ships to pound rebel positions around towns and villages in North Cotabato, a poor farming province in Mindanao.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has begun airlifting 400 metric tons of rice worth $308,000 to assist 90,000 persons from conflict-affected communities in North Cotabato for at least one month.

The food support is WFP’s response to the request made by the provincial government of the province, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) still validating the number of the persons affected by the ongoing clashes.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said more than 129,819 people have been displaced from 42 villages in North Cotabato since fighting began last week.

The refugees are to be provided food support in at least 43 government evacuation centers in the province.

“WFP fully understands that the situation remains fluid, and we will continue to work closely with all concerned to further assess the total number of affected persons and adjust our response accordingly. WFP remains concerned over the growing number of persons displaced by the violence between the armed forces and the MILF,” said Stephen Anderson, WFP country director.

“Many of the affected population are women and children, and we are concerned for their well-being and stand ready to support humanitarian needs. We hope for peace, so that these families can return to their communities,” he said.

Anderson said WFP remains committed to providing support and technical expertise during emergencies and natural disasters.

The NDCC said 43 evacuation centers have been set up for the refugees but these are now overcrowded and fast becoming health hazards.

“This is turning into a humanitarian mess,” Rep. Risa Hontiveros said.

“The refugee crisis is an unacceptable cost of the government’s mismanagement of the peace process. A peace process should lead to the protection of life and property, and yet what’s happening is the opposite,” said Hontiveros, who has called for an immediate halt to the fighting.

Fighting began last week after the Supreme Court ordered the government to suspend plans to establish an extended Muslim homeland in Mindanao.

The decision saw around 1,500 heavily armed renegade Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels take control of mainly Christian villages and towns in North Cotabato.

Commission on Human Rights chairwoman Leila de Lima described the situation in North Cotabato as “serious” and called for an immediate ceasefire.

She told local television that evacuation centers needed urgent supplies of food and medicine for the refugees.

The government has said that the fighting will not disrupt the ongoing peace process and that the Supreme Court decision last week was a “temporary setback.”

Future uncertain

In Pikit, North Cotabato, nine-year-old Rakma Kasanuba sings lullabies to her baby sister as the infant tries to sleep in a makeshift hammock under a guava tree as mortars explode without end in the distance.

Her three other younger sisters sit on the muddy ground guarding their meager belongings while military attack helicopters thunder overhead searching for Muslim separatist rebels 400 meters away in a forested area.

At her tender age, Rakma is a veteran of evacuation camps.

“I don’t know why I am here,” she told AFP. “My family was told by the military to leave because they said Moros (Muslims) were advancing.

“We left at dawn, but my father had to stay behind to protect our house,” Rakma said. “My mother took us here, but she is away to look for food and relatives who were also told to evacuate.”

Rakma and her sisters are among 6,000 people forced to flee their homes in Tacepan, a mixed Christian-Muslim farming hamlet that is one of 22 villages being illegally occupied by a renegade group from the MILF.

In a town’s school, families are tightly packed in small classrooms, with no bedding.

Latrines are overflowing, while goats, cows and other farm animals taken by the refugees crowd the school lawn in a feeding frenzy on what little grass is left.

Though soldiers have been sent to protect them, they are not safe from indiscriminate mortar fire from the enemy side.

Social welfare officer Imelda Balios said urgent appeals for supplies have been sent to the government to avert a bigger humanitarian crisis. – Pia Lee-Brago (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)

ASIA & PACIFIC UPDATES

August 9, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning from Manila!

Let’s see what we got across Asia and the Pacific recently, concerning development engagements, relief and humanitarian activities. Below are news captions about Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Japan, and Sri Lanka.

[31 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

Asia & Pacific

 

 

Australia

A draft blueprint of Australia’s emissions trading scheme will include fuel, but is unlikely to recommend what the country’s key emissions cap should be. The blueprint’s government-backed architect, economist Ross Garnaut, is due July 4 to release a plan for how emissions trading could operate, likely suggesting that government force companies to bid for emissions permits at auction, a perceived failing of the EU scheme. But inflating already record-high petrol prices could fuel a backlash against the government’s pledge to cut emissions with a trading system by 2010. (Reuters)

Bangladesh

Obtaining food remains the biggest priority for Bangladeshi families living in areas still devastated by Cyclone Sidr last year, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said July 1, announcing it will continue its aid operations to the affected region. The next major harvest in the delta country is not due until November or December, and many households lack sufficient food reserves to last until then, according to a press release issued by WFP. (UN News Service)

Burma (Myanmar)

At least 7,000 cyclone survivors sheltering in three temporary camps in Laputta town, in the Irrawaddy delta, are under renewed pressure from the local authorities to return home, according to sources there. About 10,000 refugees are still living in Laputta’s five refugee camps, supported by local authorities and nongovernmental organizations. The 7,000 now urged to return to their home villages have been warned that unless they leave the camps they can expect no aid next month, said one local source. (ReliefWeb)

China

The UN expects China to be at the forefront of efforts to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, such as the global food crisis, climate change and the quest to slash poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said July 1, calling on the Asian nation to step up its contribution in international affairs. Addressing students at the Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, at the start of the second leg of his East Asian tour, Ban said China is already playing an important role as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a growing contributor to peacekeeping and the UN budget. (UN News Service)

India

The Jammu and Kashmir state government should protect Parvez Imroz, an award-winning human rights lawyer who survived an armed attack on June 30 in Srinagar by alleged security forces members, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said July 1. The state government and Human Rights Commission should launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the attack and take criminal action against those responsible. “All members of the security forces found responsible, no matter how far up the chain of command, should be prosecuted,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. (HRW)

Indonesia

Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police unit has found assembled bombs and detained suspects during a raid on a house in Palembang in South Sumatra province, the national police spokesman said on June 2. The detentions came as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was visiting the area in the west of Indonesia on Sumatra Island. Earlier, Metro Television reported that seven suspects had been detained, but a police source involved in the raids told Reuters that more than seven were being held. (Reuters)

Mongolia

The president of Mongolia has declared a four-day state of emergency in the capital amid violent protests over claims the general election was rigged. Crowds torched the HQ of Mongolia’s governing party – the former Communists – and attacked a police station. Over 60 people were hurt – around half of them police – as officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against stone-throwing protesters. The unrest went on into the night, with reports of bank robberies and looting. Rioters set fire to the Cultural Palace, home to a theater, museum and national art gallery in the capital, Ulan Bator. (BBC)

Nepal

Nepalese police have detained more than 40 Tibetan monks and nuns near the country’s border with Tibet. The group was planning to protest at China’s policies in their homeland. The demonstrators were halted several kilometers from the frontier after marching through the mountains from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. Tibetan exiles in Nepal have protested almost daily since China suppressed violent anti-government demonstrations in Tibet that broke out in March. (BBC)

North Korea (DPRK)

A new agreement between the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) paves the way for the agency to step up its food assistance to more than five million hungry people in the country. The agreement, which was signed on June 27, was hailed by WFP as a significant breakthrough in its long-standing efforts to ensure that all those in need of food aid in the DPRK are able to receive it. (UN News Service)

Japan

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Japanese leaders in Tokyo on June 30 and praised the “immense contribution” Japan has made to the work of the United Nations. Speaking to the press after meeting Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Ban said that “Japan should be proud of being ‘a peace-fostering nation’ and its commitment to multilateralism,” Ban added. “The Japanese people should know how much Japan’s global role is appreciated in the United Nations and worldwide.” (UN News Service)

North Korea (DPRK)

The UN World Food Program, which has warned of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea due to a food shortage, said on June 30 it reached a deal with Pyongyang to rapidly expand aid, and that a US ship carrying wheat had arrived. Flooding last year, higher commodity prices and political wrangling with major donor South Korea have pushed North Korea to a food shortfall similar to ones it faced about a decade ago when famine killed an estimated 1 million people. The WFP said the agreement it reached with the North will allow it to expand its operation, previously aimed at feeding 1.2 million people, to feed more than 5 million in the country of about 23 million. (Financial Times, UK)

Sri Lanka

For thousands of Sri Lankans without easy access to potable water, a low-tech filter has provided them with a convenient source of safe water, saving on fuel costs and cutting disease. The water filter was first mass-produced in Nicaragua and used in emergency relief operations. It is essentially a clay pot fortified with ground paddy husk and coated with colloidal silver that strains out virtually all harmful bacteria and parasites. The American Red Cross (ARC) began production of the clay filter in Sri Lanka in January 2007 and has distributed some 10,000 units so far. (IRIN)

 

NGOs & UN DEVELOPMENT

August 4, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning!

A global fund for natural disasters is among the top agenda of the world body and its partner NGOs. The frequency and ferocity of quirk earthquakes and cyclones has prompted concerned institutions to ‘call to arms’ and address the disaster effects properly.

A relevant news is contained below.

[29 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to DevEx database news.]

 

UN, NGO and General News Round-Up

The UN has proposed a USD 10 billion global fund to help poor countries cope with natural disasters the world body said were occurring with ever more frequency and ferocity, Reuters reported. A UN report on factors creating world economic insecurity said the existing response to floods and earthquakes of emergency appeals and voluntary contributions should be boosted with a permanent facility, possibly under UN auspices. In a trend some have linked with global warming, more than four times as many disasters occurred annually between 2000 and 2006 than during the 1970s, the report said. The damage costs were seven times higher at an average of $83 billion per year.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the G8 nations to stick with a three-year old pledge to raise African aid levels to USD 25 billion a year, after a report the leaders may be about to backtrack. “I would like to urge and emphasize that leaders of G8 should implement their commitment which was made at the Gleneagles summit meeting,” Ban said, referring to the G8’s 2005 summit. “When it comes to climate change … and the global food crisis, these campaigns should be led by the industrialized countries — they have the capacity, they have the resources, and I hope the leadership demonstrates their political will,” he said. Ban’s comments came ahead of the G8 summit in northern Japan on July 7-9.

Somali gunmen freed two UN aid workers from Sweden and Denmark – just hours after seizing them on June 28 in southern Somalia, UN and Somali officials said. The aid workers were released without ransom and were safe, a UN security official told Reuters. The two – who were working for a UN program to clear landmines – were kidnapped in Somalia’s Bakol region. Suspicion for kidnappings generally falls on clan militia and Islamist insurgents who are fighting the Somali government and their Ethiopian military allies.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has criticized the outcome of last Friday’s run-off presidential election in Zimbabwe – which went ahead despite international appeals for a postponement given the violence and intimidation that preceded it – as illegitimate. “The outcome did not reflect the true and genuine will of the Zimbabwean people or produce a legitimate result,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued June 30 in Tokyo, where the Secretary-General was on an official visit.

The UN and African Union (AU) have appointed the Burkina Faso Foreign Minister, Djibril Bassole, as their new Darfur peace envoy. The UN said Bassole will conduct efforts to mediate between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels from the region’s city of Fasher. He replaces current UN and AU envoys Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim. Recent peace efforts have faltered – armed men held 38 peacekeepers at gunpoint for five hours on June 30.

Last month’s earthquake in Sichuan, China, has caused some USD 6 billion in damage to the province’s agricultural sector, severely affecting over 30 million people in rural communities, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said June 30. The 7.9-magnitude earthquake of May 12 devastated the mountainous Sichuan province, killing an estimated 69,000 people and causing extensive property damage. More than 30 million rural inhabitants lost most of their assets, and thousands of hectares of farmland were destroyed, while millions of farm animals also died.

OIL PRICES GOING DOWN FOR GOOD? TOO EARLY TO SAY!

July 25, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Good evening from Manila!

We Manilans were met this morning with the seemingly good news that oil price nose dived to $125 per barrel. As this news was released, we have just three (3) days before Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo or GMA, will deliver her State-of-the-Nation Address or SONA.

With due respect to a fellow economist, the eminent world woman leader GM Arroyo should better not say lies comes Monday SONA that her actions on oil tax in Manila are responsible for bringing down global oil. Rather, her regime’s actions on state imports of rice immensely led to more speculation on the global commodities markets that indeed contributed in no small measure to raising the price of rice world-wide, actions that added pressures on oil prices to go up too.

Fellow Earthans, please look at the backyard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the honorable King pledged before the UN Secretary General last month that the oil wells will pump out more stocks of the commodity so as to shore up the supplies by the month of July. It is now the tail end of July, and so it seems that the Midas touch of the KSA King has been creating sure-fire effects on gas prices.

The question worth asking is, will the latest decline in the price of oil be for good? Remember that the soaring prices of oil were largely caused by massive speculations in the spot markets, conducted by diverse financier groups. To a certain extent, the inflationary patterns in the grains prices also contributed to inflationary patterns in the oil sector.

There was the demand side that was cited as possible cause of the oil price decrease. The observed decline in the usage of oil by American consumers had accordingly factored into the equation, thus reducing oil price in global spot markets.

A simple multivariate analysis would show us that a combination of (a) supply side actions (KSA King’s ‘pump more oil’ policy) and (b) demand side behavior (Americans consume less oil) have (c) dampened speculative pressures and eased oil prices a bit. In other words, the predatory financiers were caught flat-footed by the double-whammy, even as some losing speculators are now hurting badly over the latest developments.

But do mark this: the financiers will strike back. The cyclone season is around, one can muse safely that cyclone devastations will induce short-term shocks on food, oil, and some non-durable commodities. Such eventualities could then induce pressures on cyclone-related or force majeure-coverage insurance, possibly impelling prices of the said commodities to go up from this month till November.

There also is the US federal campaign period coming, which will see inflationary spending from both parties as well as from the federal government as part of pump-priming measures. Such eventualities will altogether lead to new rounds of oil consumption in America, which will continue till the winter months.

No, definitely not, we are not at the tail end yet of oil hyper-inflation. This is the least that I can forecast for the moment.

[Writ 25 July 2008, Manila, Quezon City]