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Friday, Jan. 23, 2015

Keystone Pipeline: Foreign profits, American risk

National: Media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline is coalescing around a single narrative. It goes like this: environmentalists oppose the pipeline because of climate change concerns, and U.S. construction companies support the pipeline because it creates jobs. Environmentalists warn that tar sands crude oil has three times the global warming potential of conventional crude. Oil industry interests shrug and say Canadian companies will continue to extract tar sands, with or without the pipeline. Pipeline opponents then counter: fewer than 50 permanent jobs will be needed to staff the pipeline, a few thousand temporary construction jobs to build it. But this rendering of the debate misses the larger picture. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015

Lopsided wealth sharing could get dicey

Viewpoints: As we very well knew it would be, here we go again with the chest-beating and muscle-flexing in Washington. Deliberate leaks about tax reform proposals President Obama would include in his State of the Union address brought from Republicans the response even a casual observer of current-day Washington could telegraph in his sleep: no way, no how, Mr. President! Comment.

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015

Cuba and the United States – A new era?

Cuba: HAVANA, Jan 16 2015 (IPS) - On Dec. 17, by freeing the five Cuban anti-terrorists who spent over 16 years in U.S. prisons, President Barack Obama repaired a longstanding injustice while changing the course of history. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

What’s next for CARICOM and intellectual property law?

Caribbean: The year 2015 has dawned as usual with the fanfare of greater things to come. Caribbean projects are in the pipeline, along with activities to enhance competitiveness and many gallant efforts by well-meaning non-governmental and international organizations. The research has shown, however, that without the impetus of effort that originates from amongst the local innovators, there is no real change and no great advancement. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Global citizenship, a result of emerging global consciousness

Viewpoints: MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina, Jan. 10, 2015 (IPS) - Globalisation is an integral feature of modernity. It already has significantly advanced to transform local experiences into global ones, to unify the disparate villages of the world into a global community, and to integrate national economies into an international economy. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 9, 2015

In a crunch, merchandising Madam P.M.

Trinidad and Tobago: The invariably on-point Trinidad Express columnist Sunity Maharaj made note recently of a deliberate effort on the part of Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to leave no doubt as to who was “running things” in the country. And some latter-day goings-on in government circles there lend credence to Maharaj’s observation. Comment.

The truth will set us free

Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

We have so much to learn from Cuba

Cuba: WHITE PLAINS, New York, Dec 30 2014 (IPS) - Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than five decades of a misguided policy which my uncle, John F. Kennedy, and my father, Robert F. Kennedy, had been responsible for enforcing after the U.S. embargo against the country was first implemented in October 1960 by the Eisenhower administration. Comments (1).

Monday, Jan. 5, 2015

Boost business by raising minimum wage

Viewpoints: As a restaurant owner operating in four states and looking to expand, I’m happy to see the minimum wage going up in 21 states to kick off the new year. I’d like to see the federal minimum wage increase as well to benefit business and our economy nationwide. Last spring, my business partner, Frank Uible, and I raised the minimum wage in our restaurants to $10.10. And we did it without raising prices. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015

Another attempt to sabotage Petrotrin

Trinidad and Tobago: Just over a year ago, on Dec. 21, 2013, Petrotrin’s management called a news conference to present its take on the spectre of a deliberate sabotage of its pipe-lines. This was 96 hours after the disaster had struck. Comment.

Friday, Jan. 2, 2015

Toward ensuring that divisiveness ends

Viewpoints: Pleas from the relatives of senselessly killed Eric Garner, from public officials at all levels and from the clergy, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, have all failed to satisfactorily lower the temperature that shot up, not just in this city but elsewhere across the nation, following that horrendous Staten Island grand jury decision in the Garner case. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015

Sony and the Sociology of Racism

Viewpoints: As a result of the North Korean-related hacking of Sony’s computer system, certain “racist” emails of Sony executive Amy Pascal were made public. This may appear as an isolated incident of racism amongst individuals. But it offers opportunity to uniquely examine certain aspects of the “sociology of racism” that not only fester in entertainment, but extensions of this same sociology have historically led to deadly consequences in the streets of America when Black men encounter law enforcement. Comment.

Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Employee, employer benefit from paid family leave

Viewpoints: The holiday season can be a time of great joy. But for many working parents, the holidays are also a stark reminder of how tenuous their employment and benefits are. Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

Typical Cuba noises from usual suspects

Viewpoints: It goes without saying that, considering the number of occasions on which we have robustly condemned in this space how pointless and retrogressive the U.S. stance toward Cuba has been, President Obama’s announcement last week of a major policy re-set was news that got a big thumbs-up here. About the braying from the usual suspects that has come in the wake of his long overdue course correction, we would simply say to the president: “Keep on strutting!” Comment.

Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Leave us all alone! We can’t breathe!

Viewpoints: The last words out of the mouth of strangling victim Eric Garner are actually a metaphor for how libertarians feel about the entire welfare-warfare state under which modern-day Americans have been born and raised. Comments (2).

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

A torture debate reduced to semantics

Viewpoints: Senator John McCain had another of those moments last week in which one is tempted to entertain doubts about where he’s really coming from – whether he’s to be lumped in with many of his rabidly right GOP mates or should be given consideration as one of the middle-course and even liberal-leaning Republicans of yesteryear. Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

I love loosies and the people who sell them

Viewpoints: The cops who ganged up on Eric Garner, got him into a chokehold, and mashed his face into the sidewalk didn’t intend to kill him. They intended only to show him who’s boss on the streets of Staten Island — and show him in a way he would never forget. Comment.

Why I am the way I am

Viewpoints: The day after the Millions March in New York City, I was out having dinner with a nice young lady. I was telling her about the march and the protest and the fight for social equality and justice for the marginalized. I guess the way I was speaking was really passionate (I get like that sometimes) because she asked me an interesting question. She asked, “Why are you like this?” At first I didn’t know what to make of the question, so I asked what she meant. She said, “I’m just interested in what makes the way you are or made you this passionate or militant about this. Did something happen to you?” Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Across the bridge, ‘justice’ frozen in time

Viewpoints: So maybe our scanning mechanism for the city came up short on its reach when we talked last edition about New York’s “cachet” being none too welcoming of cultural traits that just plain reek. In which context we noted the aberrational presence here of two high-flying Republican schmucks who are in no way to be mistaken as representing the classiness we associate with New York chic. Alas, we neglected to consider in the reckoning the most “outer” of the boroughs constituting the New York tapestry, which last week made the loudest discordant noise despoiling of the city’s harmony that we’ve heard in quite a while. Comment.

Now is the time for churches to speak up

Viewpoints: “Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?’” (Book of Esther 4:13-14). Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Time to change direction on tax extenders

Viewpoints: While the dust is still settling from the mid-term elections and the pundits are trying to figure out what it all means, the American people have made their collective voices heard and delivered a message that they do not like the country’s direction. Exit polling data from Election Day showed clear majorities in against growing corporate influence on the political process and in favor of greater corporate accountability. The message is clear: inversions must stop, corporate tax avoidance must end, and special corporate loopholes must close. Comment.

Investing in America

Viewpoints: To The Editor: We are in the middle of an immediate economic crisis!! Fightback for justice and dignity. Only a country that has a strong manufacturing base can be wealthy and have a solid and growing middle class. China is getting richer because they are building their manufacturing base. The United States is in debt because we are letting our manufacturing base disappear; we are pouring money into the financial and military industries, which contribute nothing to our economy. Comment.

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

Blacks call for concrete action against ongoing injustices

Viewpoints: The unjustified killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by a white Police Officer Darren Wilson, is just another added victim to the amount of Blacks who have been killed unlawfully in the United States of America since slavery. When Africans were brought from their native homeland to the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States of America, this was done by Europeans because they were seen as a people unequal to whites Comment.

Solve our climate crisis with climate justice

Environment: LIMA, Dec. 1, 2014 (IPS) - In November, the world’s top climate scientists issued their latest warning that the climate crisis is rapidly worsening on a number of fronts, and that we must stop our climate-polluting way of producing energy if we are to stand a chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Comment.

Ferguson accentuates an already existing negative

Viewpoints: An op-ed piece in The New York Times by sociologist and political commentator Michael Eric Dyson said of the Ferguson grand jury decision and aftermath, that it “illuminates” the racial divide in the country. Which it certainly does. Although Ferguson, and any similar episodes in which people of color have cause to question a systemic unfairness, pale by comparison with what, in recent history, has been the most in-your-face representation of color cleavage in the society. Comment.

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Make this new day count

Viewpoints: Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, James Bird, Troy Davis, so many others and now Michael Brown. I’m a young black man but I’ve lived long enough to see how this situation plays out. The reactions have often been the same; public outcries for a couple of months at best and then it subsides, meanwhile very few people change their own behavior which is detrimental to the community. Comment.

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Executive order the only move for Obama

National: Our columnists says the president has earned teh right to use his executive order power on immigration. Comment.
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