Posted on June 29, 2005 - 8:51am :: Editorial
By Nicanor Perlas
28 June 2005

"President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) is unfit to continue as President of the Philippines. Her deceitful "apology" attempted to divert people's attention away from the corrupt practices of her government. Her "apology" unwittingly authenticated her role in a successfully conspiracy to defraud Filipinos of their rights to an honest and clean election. (See TruthForce editorial dated 27 June 2005.)

So the urgent question today is: What will a post-GMA scenario look like? And who will bring it about? Here is a look at some of the contending futures and their advocates.
Posted on June 28, 2005 - 6:43pm :: Editorial
Nicanor Perlas
27 June 2005

In recent weeks, a supposedly unauthorized wiretap rocked the nation by recording a scandalous conversation between a woman and an official of the Comelec or Commission on Elections. The tapes revealed that the woman, who sounded like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the President of the Philippines, was conspiring to bring about fraudulent election results with a commissioner of the Comelec. The Philippine Constitution mandates the Comelec to uphold clean and honest elections.

For weeks, "President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) refused to comment on whether she was the woman on the tape. She maintained stoic silence. Meanwhile, the protests grew louder, bigger, and more organized. Then, suddenly, last night, PGMA appeared on nationwide television and radio. She finally admitted that she was the female voice in the wiretap recordings. She also apologized for her "lapse of judgment" in calling a Comelec official under questionable circumstances. She did not, however, admit any guilt and called on the nation to forgive and join her in rebuilding the nation.

Her unexpected apology stunned pro and anti-GMA forces. Most thought GMA was too proud to apologize. There is more, however, than meets the eye in this "performance", for so it was. To realize what happened, we need to compare what she said in her statement of apology and what appeared in the transcripts of the conversations that she had with an official of the Commission on Elections. Then certain conclusions will become clear and obvious.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:14pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Economics
By Matthew Wheeland
June 24, 2005 | AlterNet

TF! Editorial Comment: Social entrepreneurship is about finding entrepreneurial solutions to social problems and challenges. Sustainability becomes an operative paradigm and profit, while important, assumes secondary importance. David Bornstein has popularized these ideas in his recent book, "How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas". In the article below, a "New Heroes" series on American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is highlighting the possibilities for social change through this kind of enlightened entrepreneurship.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:12pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Integral Sustainable Development (ISD)
by Jeremy Rifkin
June 22, 2005 | Guardian (UK)

TF! Editorial Comment: Increasing disparity between rich and poor, environmental destruction and deteriorating social services are stark reminders that unrestrained capitalism and completely free markets cannot lead to sustainable development. In the article below, well-known author and activist Jeremy Rifkin underlines the utter failure of the two dominant ideologies of the industrial age--communism and capitalism--and the need for a countervailing balancing mechanism in the form of a "strong trade-union movement, a diverse and healthy civil society and vigilant political parties." He sees seeds of this mechanism in the European social market-economy model if a strategic way forward can be found to ensure a sustainable future for humanity.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:11pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Politics
Mithre J. Sandrasagra
Jun 22, 2005 | Inter Press Service

TF! Editorial Comment: Increasingly, global civil society is being acknowledged as a de facto third force in global affairs alongside governments and business. Civil society participation is more and more seen as an important factor in mobilizing diverse perspectives and garnering legitimacy but also opens up the possibility of cooptation. In the article below, the U.N. has broken new ground by formally inviting civil society to participate in sessions of General Assembly.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:08pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Culture
by Kirsten Schwind and Hollace Poole-Kavana
June 21, 2005 | CommonDreams.org

TF! Editorial Comment: Genetic engineering is one of many divisive issues that pits corporations against civil society activists over social, health, environmental and scientific concerns. The intersection of science, industry and government regulation is made all the more problematic by lack of transparency, conflict of interest and the corrupting influence of lobbyists. As discussed in the article below, a suppressed study by Monsanto casts further doubt on the long-term safety of genetically engineered foods and gives pause to reconsider the rationale behind and forces driving the introduction of this new technology.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:07pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Human
by Huck Gutman

June 21, 2005 | Dawn, Pakistan

TF! Editorial Comment: Victor Frankl, in his book Man's Search for Meaning (which has sold more than 9 million copies) wrote that as human beings we should "think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly". In such a way, each encounter becomes an opportunity to really see the other and in the process, perhaps be gifted with the recognition of something eternal. In the article below, the author shares his experience of how the simple pleasures of observation and the immediacy of human encounters can open windows onto simple truths of life, love, happiness and meaning.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:04pm :: ISD-Philippines | Human
Analysis by Marwaan Macan-Markar
Jun 21, 2005 | Inter Press Service

TF! Editorial Comment: The activist role of some church leaders has often rattled politicians and even business leaders who never fail to bring out the bogeyman of the separation of church and state. Cardinal Sin was perhaps emblematic of the activist "man of the cloth" who speaks from the cultural sphere in engaging governance processes in defense of democracy and social justice. In the article below, Cardinal Jaime Sin is acknowledged for his wide-ranging impacts on Philippine development and democracy -- impacts which radiated to other countries in the region. But with his recent passing, the question is raised as to how pro-democracy forces will fare in the absence of his formidable voice and charismatic presence.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 12:00pm :: ISD-Societal Change | ISD-World Affairs | Culture
Yasmin Sooka
20 June 2005 | Mail and Guardian, South Africa

TF! Editorial Comment: Globally, civil society is increasingly recognized as a third social force alongside business and government, but the pace of development in different countries has been uneven and a lack of clarity still exists in regard to the cultural nature of civil society, its role and the sources of its legitimacy and how it should be financed. In the article below, familiar challenges in the evolution of civil society are discussed in the South African context where confusion over, for instance, representation and legitimacy and the relationship to the State continue to hinder the development of a sustainable society--one in which the healthy functioning of civil society, state and market are enabled.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 11:57am :: ISD-World Affairs | Society
by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
June 16, 2005 | Salon.com

TF! Editorial Comment: Regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sit at the intersection of government and business and are tasked with protecting the public against abusive practices and products among others. But with billions of dollars at stake in the pharmaceutical industry alone, watchdog functions isolated in government structures are increasingly susceptible to manipulation and corruption. In the article below, Kennedy exposes the findings that a mercury-based preservative used in childhood vaccines may be responsible for increasing rates of autism and in the process reveals a shocking web of conflict of interest, cover-up, manipulation of science and failure of regulatory mechanisms.
Posted on June 25, 2005 - 10:49am :: ISD-World Affairs | Economics
Raúl Pierri
Jun 17, 2005 | Inter Press Service

TF! Editorial Comment: All around the world an increasing number of women micro-entrepreneurs are being recognized for their creativity and commitment. But many remain isolated and disconnected from information and resources. In the article below, rural women entrepreneurs in Latin America are benefiting from efforts like the WINNER Project to facilitate the sharing of ideas and the building of linkages.