Many poor, already fragile states — where governance is difficult today — will grow rapidly. In Afghanistan, Liberia, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the population is expected to triple by midcentury. The number of people in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Yemen will more than double. Furthermore, all of those countries will have large concentrations of young people. If their basic freedoms and basic needs — food, housing, education, employment and so on — are not met, they could be easily attracted to violence, civil unrest or extremism.He did not name the Philippines as one of those trouble spots where "population cluster bombs" are exploding, but it's high time Filipinos woke up to this problem. When all is said and done the blame has to be laid squarely on the Roman Catholic Bishops that the poor have no access to pills, condoms, IUDs and other non-abortive forms of modern birth control. I think that this is so obvious that those who deny it have to contort themselves into all sorts of illogical positions (not found even in the Kama Sutra) just to defend a policy that is ONE major cause of poverty, hunger and deprivation, and if the CIA chief is right of coming "violence, civil unrest and extremism." Considering that it will take decades to fix the problem, we better pull our heads out of the sand and see what greater evil has been wrought by infallible dogma.
President George W. Bush calls for more food aid to poor countries abroad for the 2009 fiscal year, but I sure hope the Philippines won't have to rely on mendicancy and charity of other nations to feed itself. As it is the government is selling cheap US rice at P25/kilo as its NFA stocks dwindle. Have we no pride? The current situation probably suits the Men in Skirts just fine while they twirl away with Pagcor and Vatican Roulette but it's time to stop listening to them and their insane dogmas.
Hippocrates, Maimonides and MesiaMd have some interesting reflections on the Perfume Canister Incident. Primum non nocere.
Jessica Zafra has uhmm, an axe to grind against Filipino's penchant for the absurd.
Abe Margallo has long commentary on the rice crisis in Man Does Not Live by Rice Alone. I hope he will follow it up with further analysis on the impact of CARP (land reform) on the long term prospects.
Angela Stuart Santiago takes Manila Standard columnist Connie Veneracion to task for her opposition to the inclusion of Amado V. Hernandez's classic anti-imperialist work, Mga Ibong Mandaragit in the Philippine public school curriculum. Given that the Filipino language subject is 20% of the curriculum, it is certainly impossible to rely entirely on such mainstays as Florante at Laura and Ang Ibong Adarna to provide content for the subject. I welcome such an inclusion only so Filipinos can not only learn some masterful poetry in Tagalog, but also to see the now defensiveness of the work. "Ka Amado" is very rough going however and would be a challenge to read even at the College level. In fact, I doubt that very many teachers at the high school level could manage to read his work, much as few can handle Shakespeare or Milton. They have a hard enough time with the fairy tale Ibong Adarna. What will probably happen is they will substitute summaries done by the CPP NPA and its surrogates in the Republic of Diliman of what the works mean. Veneracion is right that the works would be a challenge for any modern Filipino to read or appreciate at the high school level.