Archive for the ‘gasoline price’ Category

Terrorism, economic meltdown and other problems facing Americans and the world

September 24, 2008

There is a lulling effect of media’s downplay of other important problems affecting Americans. As an example, in a Gallup poll taken in March 2008, only 2% worry about terrorism—as though it’s a problem of the past.

This is partly an effect of liberal media’s dismissal that those who are bothered by terrorism are essentially “war mongerers” and “alarmists.” Many media people are averse to paying the high cost of security to a point of misleading the public. They ignore that enemies determined to harm us take their time and they wait. There are those who believe diplomacy is often effective and terrorists and Al Qaeda can be appeased in the name of friendship.

The hard reality is terrorism only needs one occasion to succeed. And terrorists are determined and clever. They pulled through in 911 at the World Trade Center (WTC) and in the cowardly killings in Spain, Bali, Kenya, Pakistan, UK, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Philippines, and in other parts of the world. Being friendly with terrorists is therefore a risky business.

The problem issues that citizens (with changing and short attention spans) have grown. But would you believe, only 2% of Americans as of March 2008 Gallup Poll thinks terrorism is a problem?

The new economic woes in Wall Street divert the nation’s attention away from other equally significant problems. The world reacts the same way—finger-pointing on who is to blame after foolishly ignoring the danger signs of the economic meltdown before they blew in the people’s faces.

Reckless buying of houses that they couldn’t afford wasn’t a problem until the mortgage crisis took its toll. Many who were stuck to what they erroneously believed were gripped with panic. Denial, complacency and short memory proved to be dangerous to the security of these individuals, the nation, and the world.

The Most Important Problem(s) Facing America, March 2008

Economic Problems…………………….35%
Iraq War……………………………………21%
Health Care & Costs……………………8%
Fuel, Gas Costs………………………….8%
Immigration & Illegal Aliens……………6%
Jobs & Unemployment…………………..5%
Gov’t Corruption & Incompetence…..5%
Moral Decline………………………………4%
Education……………………………………4%
Inflation & Cost of Living………………..4%
Poverty & Hunger………………………….3%
National Security…………………………..2%
Terrorism…………………………………….2%

Source: Gallup Poll, March 2008/Fleeced (Morris, D; McGann E; Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2008, pp. 46-47.) Photo Credit: Mario Zuccal. =0=

Bare Truth or Fairy Tale? (Is Little Red Riding Hood & The Wolf One And The Same?)

July 28, 2008

Because tough choices were made, the global crisis did not catch us helpless and unprepared. Through foresight, grit and political will, we built a shield around our country that has slowed down and somewhat softened the worst effects of the global crisis.

We have the money to care for our people and pay for food when there are shortages; for fuel despite price spikes. Neither we nor anyone else in the world expected this day to come so soon but we prepared for it.”

State of the Nation Address (SONA,) Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo, 2nd Regular Session of the 14th Congress Republic of the Philippines
28 July 2008

Sizing Up GMA’s SONA: What The US Ambassador Wants To Hear Versus What The People Feel

July 23, 2008

More than a week before Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s (GMA) State of the Nation Address (SONA,) there was this type of conditioning the government wanted for its people. The pompous military, 6,000 strong, hammered peace on the people’s mind even if according to them, there was no threat of disturbance. In a bewildering display of “respect for human rights,” police officers, in their scary gears and numbers, agreed to go on a human rights seminar. At the same time they assured the SONA will be a peaceful event.

But barely a week before the speech, there are pictures of armed military men here and there, in full-battle regalia, readying for something that one could only guess as preparedness for mayhem. (Photo Credit: Malaya/SalvadorR) The story has turned symbolically worrisome. The government is fully aware of the people’s widespread antipathy towards GMA, the most unpopular president since 1986.

There are reports of NPA ‘sparrows” who’d try to bring chaos at the SONA on July 30, 2008, giving advance warnings to anti-government protesters of what to expect if they venture out in the streets. Superficially, people can’t tiss apart truth, genuine public concern, and military scare tactics.

In a rather awkward statement, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney in Manila says she wants to hear GMA speak on the successes of her economic policies and the government’s in-roads in the peace process in Mindanao. The ambassador puts a positive spin on GMA’s SONA, but what she says doesn’t jibe with what the Filipinos are thinking.

I think the President has made a lot of economic reforms and the Philippine economy has been doing well. I’m hoping she’ll tell us more that she’s continuing on that important point of her program.”

We are hopeful and eager to see a comprehensive peace agreement in Mindanao. I think that will be so important for all citizens of the Philippines, for economic growth, and we are ready to continue to be a dedicated partner in that search,” Kenney said. Malaya (07/24/08, DeVera,E.)

Her remark seems a cheap shot at diplomatic correctness which most likely doesn’t reflect the Filipino sentiment at the moment. For sure Filipinos don’t want words that they can’t nibble especially if these words fall short of truth. They want a concrete plan of action which they can bring to their sleep: a solution to the hunger they’re facing. The people ask for accountability, a panacea for the rising prices of fuel and groceries, and they demand a resolution to the unsolved government corruption scandals—problems which simply don’t go away and leave the people numb in despair. =0=
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Significant Numbers

July 9, 2008

10%
-The percentage price of one gallon of gasoline Saudis pay (45 cents) compared to Americans who pay $4.50/gallon on the pump.

P11.583 billion-The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCCl’s ) estimate of Typhoon Frank’s destructiveness. The amount constitutes 96.5% of the total expenditure the country shells out each year, covering an average of 20 typhoons, costing about P12,000 billion

P8,599/month
-What the lowly paid government street and utility worker needs to survive the rises in prices of commodities. According to Ferdinand Gaite, president of the Confederation of Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage,) this means a needed increase of P3,000 to the present salary of P5,999.

105 million
-The number of people who could drop below the poverty line due to the spiraling rise in fuel costs and prices of commodities. According to a World Bank study issued last week, 30 million of these people come from Africa.

$624 million
-The Asian Development Bank, one of the country’s biggest foreign lenders is thinking of loaning the Philippines in 2009 to help boost the economy. An additional 300 million loan is scheduled for 2010.

550 metric tons
-The amount of uranium transferred from Iraq to Canada last week in a secret operation according to Pentagon. The yellow cake was discovered in 2003 by US forces in Iraq’s Tawaitha Nuclear Research Facility which was placed under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy.

2012
-Based on an ancient Mayan calendar, the year the world is expected to end. Survival groups from Europe, Canada, and the US are preparing for the apocalypse—catastrophic events such as typhoons, nuclear detonations, tidal waves, earthquakes which they believe would usher in the end of days.

P50,000 million
-Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s planned budget to repatriate more than 100 OFWs stranded in various countries in the Middle East.

$200
-The monthly salary of Filipino nurse-turned-maid Marichu Suarez Baoanan received from Amb. Lauro Baja who was accused of racketeering, illegal human trafficking, peonage, and forced labor. As of January 1, 2007, the General Industry Minimum wage of New York is $7.15/hour, roughly $1,601.60/month. Investigation of Amb. Baja is being urged by the Philippine government authorities.

$459,000
-Nazi hunters peg the reward money leading to the arrest of Aribert Heim, 94, known as Dr. Death who’s believed to have escaped to Chile with his daughter. =0=