Issue 72 Articles
- A Chance at Redemption
- Light at the End of the Tunnel?
- As Simple As That
- Confusion and vision
- Old ways, new day.
- Technology: African Software Gains Global Popularity
- Joseph Rotblat's humanity
- Alternative Media a Need, And In Need
- 'Progressive Communities' Seek to Make a Difference
- NGOs Talk, Governments Listen
- Education: Charlotte's Webpage
- Renewing Husbandry
- Two Crises, One Solution
- Nepal: In Dark Days, a Light for Rural Women
12 September 2005
On July 10, 2005, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines issued its statement, "Restoring Trust: A Plea for Moral Values in Philippine Politics." The CBCP did not demand the resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) from the Office of the President as many had wished. At the same time, the CBCP exhorted GMA not to dismiss calls for her resignation. However, GMA and her spin doctors immediately used the statement either to cause widespread confusion among or to silence priests, nuns, students and other Catholics into fear and submission. In effect, the CBCP statement gave a new lease on the political life of GMA.
Recent developments, however, shed new light on the concerns of the CBCP. In particular, a number of the key assumptions and expectations that governed the CBCP statement no longer hold. Taken together, these new developments require the CBCP to revisit their statement, and, true to the spiritual principles embedded in its statement, call for the resignation of GMA. This is their chance at redemption.
11 September 2005
On 02 September 2005, the unexpected happened. All the organized forces bent on removing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) as "President" of the Philippines came together. They called themselves, Bukluran Para Sa Katotohanan, or Coalition for Truth. As a whole, these groups can mobilize over two hundred thousand people. And all are one in their call: "GMA must go!" The days of GMA are numbered. Will this be the light at the end of the tunnel that we have all been waiting for?
11 September 2005
An actress recently announced that she was finally leaving her notoriously unfaithful husband. Last week, her father-in-law told reporters he wished she would be more patient with his son because one day "magsasawa din iyan" (he will tire of it). He also said that he reminds his son to "stay away from trouble as much as possible. If you can't avoid it be careful; be discreet".
I was appalled. This is the kind of fragmentation that breeds morally deficient people. The whole culture of lying and cheating begins here. Right in the home. This is a nation that struggles with corruption, truth and integrity. In that father's statement, we get a glimpse of its roots.
11 September 2005 | Philippine Daily Inquirer
TF! Editorial Comment: The governance crisis currently shaking the Philippines is exposing a rotten system of corruption; traditional, patronage politics; and generally a failure of the institutions of governance. It is also splitting society and calling for a national re-examination of truth, integrity, values and principles. In the article below, social scientist Randy David comments on a "breakdown of moral sensibility resulting in paralysis of will," that necessitates a re-visioning process to overcome fear and inspire a nation.
TF! Editorial Comment: Wendell Berry speaks of agri-culture--sustainability and community. Many indigenous peoples cling to elements of this pastoral vision, though they are often disadvantaged by lack of infrastructure, credit, and marketing support among others. In the article below, a Tagabawas community in Mindanao is creating livelihood opportunities through a successful organic banana growing initiative.
Sep 9, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)
TF! Editorial Comment: Slowly, the computing world is becoming more familiar with Linux as an alternative operating system to the domination of Microsoft windows. A product of open-source software development, Linux is characteristic of this new approach that utilizes open, cooperative efforts and rapid prototyping among others. In the article below, a South African initiative is making Linux more accessible through its award-winning Ubuntu Linux distribution.
Sept 2, 2005 | www.opendemocracy.net
TF! Editorial Comment: Few people may have heard of Joseph Rotblat--physicist, campaigner for nuclear disarmament and Nobel Peace Prize awardee. His is a story of courage and conviction for the cause of peace who argued for bringing a code of moral conduct to scientists. The article below is a eulogy to this scientist and man of peace who recently passed away.
Sep 7, 2005 | Inter Press Service
TF! Editorial Comment: Mainstream mass media is often criticized for failing to be free from owner's bias, government influence or the profit motive, among others. This has created a huge niche for alternative media, though it still must often struggle for exposure. It is said that there are 12 sides to every issue and alternative media plays a crucial role in contributing to this indispensable diversity of viewpoints. The article below reports on a panel discussion at the Helsinki Conference that highlights some of the challenges to promoting a diverse media landscape.
Sep 7, 2005 | Inter Press Service
TF! Editorial Comment: Laissez-faire globalization has spawned a reactionary movement that demands global justice, fair trade, cultural diversity, and many other aspects of sustainable development that reject the status quo and claim that "another world is possible." Collectively, this movement of global civil society demands a place at the negotiating table and a say in shaping the direction of global development as a counterweight to the political and economic agendas of States and Markets respectively. In the article below, the Global Progressive Forum (GPF) is one of many attempts to shape globalization in the direction of sustainability, broadly conceived. The GPF is working to forge global partnerships--to create a social movement for progressive policies that would make globalization work for people, societies and nature.
Sep 6, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)
TF! Editorial Comment: The Helsinki Process was envisioned as a way to promote inclusive and equitable globalisation through dialogue and partnership, between governments, civil society and the private sector. These and similar efforts implicitly recognize the three types of power contending to shape globalization and global development today, namely--political, cultural and economic. In the article below, the focus is on the Helsinki Conference 2005 which hopes to move the process forward.
Sept-Oct, 2005 | Orion Magazine
TF! Editorial Comment: Technology is increasingly invading the classroom in the hope that it can somehow facilitate or enhance the learning process. Student-computer ratios are now selling points of many schools and parents are caught up in this marketing push in the hopes of getting the best education for their child. And yet, many are raising troubling questions about the effects of electronic media such as TV, computers, and video games on children's physical, emotional, social and moral development. As discussed in the article below, computers and other educational technologies have not only failed to live up to their hype but are interfering in the healthy development of children who lack the necessary moral and ethical development to responsibly engage the technology.
Sept-Oct, 2005 | Orion Magazine
TF! Editorial Comment: Wendell Berry, a novelist, essayist, philosopher, poet, and farmer has long argued that good farming is a cultural pursuit and a spiritual discipline that has been lost in the race for the narrowly defined productivity in industrial agribusiness. His novel, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture is a classic that retains much of its relevance even today. In the article below, Berry lends his eloquent voice in an appeal to rediscover husbandry as a way of caring for the land and renewing agri-culture.
Summer 2005 | Yes! Magazine
TF! Editorial Comment: The State of California "spends more money on prisons than on its four-year colleges." Despite being described as the world's "hyperpower", the U.S. is being unmasked as a country in crisis. From poverty to crime, education to environment, the symptoms point to fundamental problems with the social system and indeed the entire model of conventional development. In the article below, the writer--a human rights activist--links social inequality and environmental destruction in calling for a third wave of environmentalism that not only conserves and regulates but also invests in a positive future that is inclusive and uplifting—-what he calls a "reverence movement."
Sep 3, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)
TF! Editorial Comment: NEPAL, that idyllic mountain kingdom in the Himalayas, has been in the news recently mostly for its Maoist insurgency. Entrenched rural poverty, discrimination and corruption have created a social volcano. Nepal's women have suffered disproportionately amidst the violence and unrest, but at least one initiative is working to empower women to be agents of healing and social change.