Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Racism...of all sorts, colors and nationalities, the botom line ? Part I

The recent scandalous and "racist" remarks by a wealthy "white man".
in the world of sports, was a grim reminder of the race issues in the United States of America. The 21st century "race" issues and the widening socio-economic gaps, globalization, water and food security, and raging conflicts between nations...

I was reading the book written by Professor Thomas A. LaVeist about Minority Populations and Health in America.  Professor La Veist also  co-edited with Professor Lydia A. Isaac another book of similar contents, contemporary issues and challenges  on "Race, Ethnicity, and Health". The book was well written and explained by the authors. They dissected issues regarding health disparities in health between white people and non-white people, factors in "health racism and disparities, they made recommendations for more research on certain health outcomes, and health disparities.  

While doing research at Harvard Law School, I read on how the Supreme Court Justices in the early American history tolerated racism like their thoughts and dictum on "Separate but Equal rulings".
In my 2008 research paper, I reported on the fact, that majority of our judges are "white". Our criminal justice system is challenge by "racism" because majority of the people in our prisons are Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. 

Majority of the people in the United States of America are white people.Interestingly, majority of the poor people in the United States are white people but the health disparities or gap between health services and outcomes are "unequal". Many authors reported in their research (Race, Ethnicity, and Health, La Veist and Isaac, Editors, Second Edition, 2013) that the health of the minorities are not equal to white people in terms of access and service outcomes. Residential segregation and other socio-economic issues are still factors discussed by the authors. They proposed more research and actions on narrowing the health disparities and  gap between the white and non-white in the United States of America.

How can we eradicate racism ? Is human nature racist ? To what extent racism impacts our quality of life in the United States of America ?
What is a plantation mentality ? Is it still real ? Majority of the Fortune 500 companies "are run" by white men, why ? How far are we,  with eradicating racism in the United States of America ? What about income disparities between white and non-white, between men and women, between white women and non-white women ?  Is racism and poverty complementary ?  Is poverty a factor in racism ? Can we eradicate poverty and racism altogether ? What is the racist paradigm ? What is the role of history to racism ? Is racism the consequence of Western colonies in many developing nations ? What is the racist but poor ?  What is the difference between a rich-racist and a poor-racist ? What is the role of education in racism ? Is education a panacea to racism ? How can government policy impact racism ? Is government policy sustainable in fighting racism ? What is racism really ? How did the concept of racism came about ? 
Is color a predisposing factor in racism ? Are we all racist regardless we are white, black, brown, yellow and others ?  What is the role of our education or not getting education in racism ?  What about our socio-economic status in racism ? Are we less of a racist compared to others if we are "rich" or "poor" ? Is racism a smoke screen to cover up a deeper issues and schism in our society ? What is the bottom line of racism in the contemporary American society ?     


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bold claim, no just the reality of TRUTH.

The "I and Me" part of the problem and solution.
Our vanities and bitterness are hidden in the inner recesses of our "I and Me". Not even our overt action of helping others in need, will validate the truth that we are indeed sincere, and truthful about our actions. God sees your heart, not your actions alone.
The measures of our vanities and bitterness can interface and interact with our success...doing reality check and self-examination will help.
For example, the poverty of the many people in the world, is the result of, the "I and Me" before "THEM". A myth that the poor people are lazy and dull, is far from the truth. Many poor people have no opportunities, and many are malnourished, lacking health care, clean water, shelter, education, and many succumbed to the life of neglect and crimes. The poor are not the perfect example of virtues, they are just like you and me, they have the "I and Me" in them. A concrete example are the "new rich" (rugs to riches), that behaves like their former oppressors or masters, vain and bitter. Some poor also turn into oppressors themselves.
(The oppressed turn oppressor - Saul Alinsky)
Unless, we suppress the "I and Me" in us, and work together as "WE", we can overcome our problems and the poverty of the majority of our people. What are the basal elements ?
1. Criticism and Self-Criticism
2. Raising our awareness, asking why and how ?
3. Action planning that includes organizing our efforts into one and focusing towards the problem
4. Collective efforts, collaboration and unified leadership
This is part of what we do in our pro-bono work with the grassroots leaders and organizations. The many hundreds of organizations and leaders we have trained, a few really became successful because we failed in removing the "I and Me" in many of them.
Through our failure to remove the "I and Me" in our process, we learned a novel strategy and techniques, of course it is our trade secret.
Our predictions are: The many nonprofit organization that "works" to eradicate poverty will fail. Some already failed. Some have been around for more than fifty years, and yet they never made a dent against poverty. They are still going in circles. We know their problems. Some will deny they have a problem, and will brag about their academic laurels from Ivy League schools, their semantics and rhetorics, empty and vain.
There is the truth about the anti-theses that "the interest of the poor will never be reconciled with the rich."
The "I and Me" is obvious among the many rich people. Some have awaken from their deep sleep.
Another Myth: Marxist thoughts. We do not need to embrace Karl Marx theory, after all they are theories. State Socialism have already failed not once but many times, except perhaps Cuba ?
China's State Socialism will fail. They have already open themselves overtly, to capitalism. Russia will revert back to "State Socialism" but will fail for the second time. The Russian Oligarchs will control. There will be large and medium scales civil wars, obviously, it is happening in Syria, and other countries. Wars will always be a "bloody catalyst".
Do we have the moral convictions to embrace a lasting and peaceful change ?
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Inner moral poverty...

 Most recently we heard, and read the convictions of a prominent South Asians (Indians) for insider tradings. On December 5, 2011, Raj Rajaratman was at the Federal Medical Center Devens, approximately forty miles West of Boston. He surrendered himself for the crime he committed - inside trading. March, 2013 his younger brother was indicted for suspicious trading at Sedna.
The Galleon Group - hedge fund managers is just one of the many who betrayed not only investors but the MORAL code of a democratic and enterprising nation like USA.
We heard the story of Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi scheme of the 20's still being employed by some to exploit others...
We often wonder if others will learn from this moral lapses, and do the right thing.

On earth you can only practice one,
Practice your morals or succumbed to your greed.
Your choice will have a lasting impact on your life, family, community and nation.
Easier said than done, but it is realistic and possible to overcome our inner material desires for vanities...
Being vain and bitter has roots to our past, and perhaps the "material poverty" we experienced, and never left us despite we have everything.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Attached stigma, stereotype, to homophobia and many other "human behavior" counter-productive to societal progress and success.
To complicate matters, the adverse effects of racism, ethnocentrism and "wealthyism" ( I coined this word, "extreme abuse of material wealth" )
Interacting and intersecting factors such as social, political, economic, cultural and spiritual conditions/systems are essentials.
The advantages and disadvantages of wealth, power or other markers of social stratification is noteworthy.
Some humans are indeed strange if not enigmatic.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"I am who I am"

James Frey's wisdom on writing still resonates. Writing is an art, has no rules, hard work...believe in yourself.
It is reality... some writes for money, some writes because it is their passion, and I write because I want to share "my truth based on praxis", not just the passion or money which is fleeting like glory and fame.
I am not Mark Twain, or any famous novelists or Pulitzer author.
I am Rodolfo, a Pilipino and "witness" to what material poverty did to many people here and abroad. The theme of my "articles" (sounded/written like an "editorial" is about the many poor people) I was there, and after more than thirty years I am writing about it.
I spent almost 17 years working with the poorest among the poor in the United States - people with physical and mental disabilities and their direct workers, who are exploited just like the recipients, became the poster of exploitation and opportunism among the few.
The remainder of my more than 30 years working and studying poverty, were spent outside of the USA.

Hypocrisy is the trademark of the few who exploits. You will see them in the news, and sometimes with their political sponsors, pretending not to enjoy the spotlight, their 15 minute fame...will end soon enough.
It is a great privilege indeed, to write about the "truth".
visit my blog:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Majority of peace loving people...

Like 911, Pilipinos and other peace loving people are impacted directly or indirectly with the horror and consequences of violence.
Did you knew more than 180 Pilipinos died in the world trade building in New York City, more than any other ethnic groups victimized by the 911 attacks ? Not many knew that. But, opportunism and exploiting the pain of other, seems a familiar tune to us, Pilipinos ?
One of my friends from Iloilo City, an engineer working in New York City - his sister was one of the many Pilipino victims of that fateful day on Sept. 11, 2001. The many hard working Pilipinos at the WTC restaurant on the top floor were the collateral damages of 911.
This April we are remembering the violence that struck fear in the hearts of many Bostonian during the Boston Marathon of April, 2013.
Yesterday, we heard the attack on the Jewish Center in Kansas, perpetrated by an "Aryan White Supremacist" as reported.
It is unfortunate to note, that many White people will be impacted by this, when many others, who are non-white, will rush judgment against the white race in general, as the root cause of violence, and oppression.
Violent tendencies and exploitation has no color or race. Violence as postulated by many as brutish and barbaric, is a common occurrence in our world today. Too familiar to us, the sufferings of many people in Syria, Palestine, Eastern Europe, Asia, and other parts of planet earth.
Exploitation by the few, is an added aggravation to violence today.
Can we stop exploiting others, and give peace a chance ?

Healthy people, a Healthy nation.

This article by the World Health Organization not only reinforced my studies about poverty,it became a validating facts of poverty.

The determinants of health


Many factors combine together to affect the health of individuals and communities. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on health, whereas the more commonly considered factors such as access and use of health care services often have less of an impact.

The determinants of health include:

  • the social and economic environment,
  • the physical environment, and
  • the person’s individual characteristics and behaviours.
The context of people’s lives determine their health, and so blaming individuals for having poor health or crediting them for good health is inappropriate. Individuals are unlikely to be able to directly control many of the determinants of health. These determinants—or things that make people healthy or not—include the above factors, and many others:
  • Income and social status - higher income and social status are linked to better health. The greater the gap between the richest and poorest people, the greater the differences in health.
  • Education – low education levels are linked with poor health, more stress and lower self-confidence.
  • Physical environment – safe water and clean air, healthy workplaces, safe houses, communities and roads all contribute to good health. Employment and working conditions – people in employment are healthier, particularly those who have more control over their working conditions
  • Social support networks – greater support from families, friends and communities is linked to better health. Culture - customs and traditions, and the beliefs of the family and community all affect health.
  • Genetics - inheritance plays a part in determining lifespan, healthiness and the likelihood of developing certain illnesses. Personal behaviour and coping skills – balanced eating, keeping active, smoking, drinking, and how we deal with life’s stresses and challenges all affect health.
  • Health services - access and use of services that prevent and treat disease influences health
  • Gender - Men and women suffer from different types of diseases at different ages.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

  I copied this from the world wide web of 2000. 

I cannot help but wonder, is there any changes for the better as of 2014 ? What are we doing about it ?

Did we adopt new strategies and measures to deal with this issues about poverty, ie. the socio-economic condition of many developing nations ? Those who spent time working in development field and left frustrated, often asked, why can't they figure out the deeper reasons for all this challenges about poverty ? Or they have already figure out, that putting many in the dire predicaments of poverty is the "legal" way of eradicating poverty in developing nations.  Teach them palliative approaches and methodologies to minimize if not eradicate poverty.

What are those approaches ? 

Are people from developing nations empowered to solve their own problems without our interventions, direct or indirect ?


14.12.2000 | Source:


A conference was held yesterday in Lisbon to discuss the latest report issued by UNICEF on the dramatic situation of the world’s children. Angola, a former Portuguese province in Africa and now torn by civil war, is near the top of the black list, with a figure of 29.5% of deaths in newborn babies. The UNICEF report states that 80 billion USD (2,240 billion roubles) would be enough to guarantee that all the world’s children could grow with their full capacities developed, giving them as high a chance as possible to reach their full potential as adults. The horrific figures released by the report are more than shocking : 11 million children die every year from diseases which could easily be treated ; more than 7% of children die from measles ; 177 million children are under-nourished ; more than 10 million have been orphaned by AIDS ; 33% of babies born are never registered ; in the developed countries, more than 20% of children do not go to school and 100,000,000 children worldwide have never entered one. When one views the astronomical figures being spent on arms and drugs, only a small proportion of which would be enough to solve the problems of millions of children, one sees that something is seriously wrong and the imbalance needs to be redressed. Why is it that NATO and its allies are the first to enter into costly (and illegal) military aggression against chosen sovereign states but do not take any action whatsoever against Africa’s bloodthirsty dictators, some of whom lead regimes so evil that even Hitler is made to look like a saint in comparison? We know that the arms trade stimulates the economy and we know it is worth billions of dollars and we understand that when a lot of money is at stake, morals fly out of the window. After all, if a regime is buying lots of weapons, and paying in ready cash, why bomb it? The “new world order” so often quoted when invoking demons against “rogue” leaders is no more than hot air and hype. When the world’s children are fed, medicated and educated, speak about “new world order”, not before.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

USA Population prediction by 2030:
2 Whites - 2 non-Whites (minorities, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and others) closer white to non-white

US Population approximately 312+ million people in the UNITED STATES today.

Growing socio-economic disparities , and other inequalities in the land of freedom and abundance.
Though the white people are the poorest (biggest population in the US), the minority groups - African-American, Hispanics, Asians are the most impacted by poverty. The health disparity, the criminal justice system, the education disparity, the employment disparity, political arrangements, residential segregation and a few others. 

  1. USA was founded on Christian-Judeo traditions, as many of you knows.
    I have a strong respect for most of the founders of our democratic nation specially George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a few others.
    Their patriotism is admirable and worthy of emulations. I read most of their stories and two of the most remarkable, was the story of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
    To balance my learnings and judgment on historical items and "facts", I read and studied the lives of other leaders and founders from other free nations from Western to Eastern Europe, Latin American nations, and democratic Asian nations. (including historical time lines of each leader and era)
    In my theoretical research it was helpful, and my practical research started in the 80's was greatly supplemented if not supplanted.
    Studying the history of the Philippines at the earliest time of my learning experiences (grade school) made it possible to explain a literary question in my second year high school (My literature teacher made me her student assistant. Checking tests, and I was exempted from the final exam. We have a falling out at the end, long story)
    The literary question and corresponding essay was the question:
    Where are you going ? What is the meaning and purpose of your life ?
    ** The above questions was really practical, specially with my brief stint in the administration of Cory Aquino, and my opportunity to observe the 1986 MNLF and Government Peace Talks in MIndanao. During the Peace negotiation, we were able to visit the birth place of Chairman Nur Misuari in Jolo, Sulu. In Cotabato, I met the daughter of Ms. Pedrosa, Veronica. The rest of my MIndanao experiences are history.

    In comparison to my current challenges in North America, the literary questions, " Where are you going ? , and what is the meaning and purpose of your life ? " came extremely handy.
    I understood deeply, the meaning "swallowed by the big fish" and the amazing realization of Jonah's calling and purpose in life.
    I am currently studying the Judeo and Islam historical perspectives. It will take a awhile before I will understand the "deeper idelogical" explanation of the conflict between the Jews and Muslims, and others.
    Only an ignorant bigot and moron will assume to know the origin of the conflicts and wars between brothers (Jews and Muslims, Isaac and Ishmael, and many others) Socrates admonitions still echoes in my head,
    "We only know what we know." and quote.

    Good morning North America, Good evening Philippines. Peace.
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  2. God. People.
    Challenges and opportunity.
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  3. Promethean type of a person. We have seen in our time dreamers and many did accomplished their dreams. "Promethian's and polymath's" combined, we can embark in that journey, to make this world a better place to live. I focused my sights with the Philippines from grade school till my professional life, then moved on to the world. Learning our world history (macro level) and deepening our insights and dreams for our motherland. Do you have that dream ?
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  1. Rodolfo, where did you go to high school?
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

From the reality of government..
I like the ideals of an egalitarian and meritocratic systems, except it is not "real" another utopia ? Are we the nemesis or friend of those ideals ? Human nature is a conumdrum...?
Human systems, a contrivance of change or exploitation ?
I have my share of losing, problems, and imperfections...I never gave up that is why I did not "fail". You stumble, and get up...that is life's journey.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chess and Games of the General
I was teaching first year college economics in 1983 at one Philippine College - And I blurted to my students, Europe will unify. I am not claiming that I am good with geopolitics, but I am "extremely curious" with world power, empires,dynasty, monarchy, and revolutions of planet earth. My daughter gave me a nice complement recently, and she asked me, why I didn't pursue strategic planning work ? I did, I planned my marriage to my soul-mate, I gave priority to my family instead of my "worldliness", and "sharp" geo-political wits, and I "co-produced" a human being, in her person...my crowning achievement.
She is about to complete her Masters degree in Public International Affairs from the SIPA Program of Columbia University. She is a wonderful human being, tough but caring. I am applying to work as her driver someday, and I told her, I can also be your personal bodyguard. I can shoot straight, and know several martial art techniques and styles, just kidding.

With all seriousness, I like global affairs, and international events - what happens inside a classroom in Cambridge, Massachusetts will impact the world, one way or another.
I like this country USA because they invest on individual talents and gifts, specially if you are useful to the Masters of the Universe, who invented the Games of the Generals, and encourage CHESS Masters near Harvard Square

Sunday, April 6, 2014

On gaining inner strength, and the moral compass.
Forgiving our own imperfections and failures, then forgiving others.
We can make this challenging world a better place to live.
Face the truth, and facts. Do not engage in myths, stereotypes, narrow-mindedness, and complacency. Change is an inevitable reality, nothing stays the same, status quo is temporary, counterintuitive at times, deceiving...there is a cornucopia of great things, but you have to work hard and use your wit not just smart.
We can change and overcome our own selfish nature, and focus on the "WE" instead of "Me".
The micro and macro stressors are realities of life, a fact of life.
We cannot just be contented of getting by it. We need to muster the courage to change from within so that we can effect a lasting change, by influencing others to change.

RP April 6, 2014
Criticism and Self-Criticism (CSC)
Understanding our own strengths and limitations is imperative.
Correcting our own flaws, misconceptions, and listening to others in need.
Be prepared to make a suggestion or recommendations.
Concrete, and sustainable even replicable.
Our problems and challenges are more complex and daunting if not tedious.

Ask for courage to change the things we can change,
the peace or serenity to accept certain realities we cannot change,
and the wisdom to know and understand the difference (Augustine).
Peacefully, remember no violence succeeded.
Applying your education not only for your family and friends, but for others, and your nation.
Non nobis solum nati sumus, ortusque nostri partem, patria vindicat, partem amici (Cicero 3 January 106 BC - 7 December 43 BC)
We are not born, we do not live for ourselves alone; our country, our friends have a share in us.
When our child graduated from college, she asked me for a nice quotation (wrote it in her graduation cap)
"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi", "All Glory are fleeting."

Friday, April 4, 2014

The roots of my seemingly one track mind and obsessions with social and economic equality for all...

I attended  public school during my elementary years. We have the means to attend any private schools in the city of my birth, but my father insisted we need to understand and see the realities of poverty, to this I owed my father, this priceless privilege and opportunities to learn from many poor classmates and acquaintances in grade school.
I did well in grade school, consistently from grade 1 to grade 6, I was on the top twenty of outstanding students in our class of more than 300+ grade school students; Many of those students, were also materially poor in our city.
I learned a great deal from my interactions with them. I can still remember the names of my three schoolmates, one was killed in grade 4 while scavenging for scrap metals, one was imprisoned for killing another child, and the last one, our valedictorian became an underdog and "underachieving" (societal label for people with less money in the bank, did not earned his PhD or other academic laurels except in grade school, and he is not an elected public official and does not occupy a powerful political position in our nation of 100+ million people.
They are the roots of my one track mind to achieve socio-economic equality among us. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What the future holds...

Today and Tomorrow.

No one can predict 100% what the future holds, and what is install for us. We can make the present, which means our gifts today, to prepare for the mistakes and blunders, we continue to bring, if not encourage, like the abuse we have done to our environment, and the people of our planet.

The 7 billion+ people in 2011.

No one can really prepare you and I, with what will come about, with the population growth, and its impact to our world. Many of the poorest are situated in developing countries, which has the biggest number of people, living in our world today. 

Developed and Developing Nations.

Many developing countries consumes more energy and resources compared to developing nations, meaning the rich consumes more, compared to the poor. 

The Present and its Predicaments.

What can we do to avert disaster through the excesses of our generation ? What can I do ? What would be my greatest contribution for the next generation ?
The answers will vary, according to your means, capacity and your socio-economic standing in our society today.

 The Education. Our Children. Us.

Many of us are sending our children to gain knowledge and skills from colleges and universities. What we can do today, could have started when our children were small. Ideally, according to research and studies, 0 to 8 years of a child's life, are the formative years. Some argues, it starts in the mother's womb. My take on this arguments, it can start anytime. We learn each day, from life's lessons. When it comes to learning and seeking knowledge, from formal education, it does not matter, what age or what condition you are in, and most importantly, each has the means and idea, regardless of our status in life.

The Beginning, to an End.

The  present is a start, a gift we have today. We prepare for any prospects, tomorrow may not even come ?  Too cynical. Tomorrow is an unspent check, a prospect, yet to happen. We can tackle and deal with the problems. We can prepare, and anticipate the worst, by preparing for the best outcome.