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Viewpoints

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Enshrining a presumption of openness

Viewpoints: The president has a new opportunity to ensure that the openness policies laid out on his first day of office do not end on his last day. On Jan. 21, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda to usher in what he called a “new era of openness.” Comment.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Stricter chemical rules good for the industry

Viewpoints: Most people probably don’t check the labels of chemical products they use, or go online to do research about how dangerous certain chemicals are. That’s understandable, but it’s also a shame, because there are a lot of scary chemicals out there. Comment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A mission to make ‘insulting’ acceptable

Viewpoints: As he jumps into the crammed boxcar of GOP presidential hopefuls, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s handlers have evidently come up with strategy that is a flat-out head scratcher. Comment.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Identity Crisis: Navigating my roots

Haiti: I am a first generation Haitian American. I am born to two very proud Haitians who migrated to New York City in their teens in hopes of furthering their education and opportunity. Fluent speakers of Haitian Creole and French, my parents are bi-lingual while my siblings and I struggle to respond in our parent’s native tongue. Unfortunately, like many other Haitian Americans, I can understand the language far better than I can speak it. Comment.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

‘Curiouser and curiouser,’ ballooning GOP roster

Viewpoints: The stubborn refusal on the Republican / Tea Party side to ascribe validity to the Obama presidency is one area we might want to check (cynically, some would say) to try making sense of this tidal flow of contenders vying to be the 2016 GOP presidential nominee, the twisted logic among them being, if an Obama could be elected, surely so could any of them. Comment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Paid family leave insurance, a benefit for NY business

Viewpoints: For so many people, there’s no happier moment than the day you welcome a child into the world. And one of the scariest moments can be when that child - or a parent, or spouse, or sibling - becomes sick. With so many emotions to deal with, and so many things to deal with at once, the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not you’ll be getting paid. Comment.

The president is right on trade

Viewpoints: In January, I was asked to sign a letter to President Barack Obama expressing deep concern with the prospect of fast-track trade authority. Comment.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why are threats to civil society growing around the world?

Viewpoints: JOHANNESBURG, June 10, 2015 (IPS) - Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Comment.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Emboldened rogues: sign of the times

Viewpoints: The fact that these episodes of rogue behavior by law enforcement types, in treating with persons of color, continue to mock our “civil” society pretensions, is bedeviling, more so for the message of seemingly unrelenting defiance it delivers than even the rogue displays themselves, appalling though they be. Comment.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Crumbling infrastructure threat to business

Business: Our country’s once-robust infrastructure has played a vital role in the success of our economy. Roads, bridges, and transportation systems are the heart and blood of commerce and give consumers easy access to goods and services. Our public schools produce the next generation of workers. Comment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Congress rewards corporations, punishes the American people

Viewpoints: Congress keeps feeding big corporations huge tax cuts they don’t deserve, even as it starves average Americans of the services and investments they need. The latest example of this indefensible policy is a $182 billion corporate tax giveaway the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved. Comment.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Enforcing Belize rights to its territorial waters

Belize: According to international law many countries claim their 12 miles of territorial waters and enforce their jurisdiction over it. There is also a 20-mile and the Exclusive Economic Zone for drilling and other rights that Belize can control in their southern border with Guatemala and Honduras. Comment.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Effects of restricting an already safe procedure

Viewpoints: Tanya came to me for an abortion. She has two children and despite working two jobs, has the means to raise one and is pregnant with a third. She is a resilient woman, but this additional pregnancy is one too many. She feels stigma and shame walking into the abortion clinic, but this is actually more a commentary on our ethics and morality as society than on the “immorality” and shame of Tanya and thousands of American women like her who need abortions. Comments (1).

Already spoiling good-looking democratic practice

Guyana: So, wouldn’t it be something else again if, following this squeaker of a win that ushered him into the presidency of Guyana in the May 11 elections, David Granger ultimately has himself a good, substantive run as the country’s leader? Ascending to office on the strength of the few thousand votes and one-seat plurality that separated the Granger-led coalition from the once seemingly invincible People’s Progressive Party (PPP), is hardly what one might call a solid mandate. Still, for Granger and his colleagues to have been declared victors by any margin was no small accomplishment. For inspiration, the new president might look at the arc (if not necessarily the political ideology) of Angela Merkel who, when she first became German chancellor in 2005, could do so only after protracted maneuvering across party lines, but is today considered one of the world’s most powerful leaders. Comment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Finance like a cancer grows

Viewpoints: ROME, May 26, 2015 (IPS) - It is astonishing that every week we see action being taken in various part of the world against the financial sector, without any noticeable reaction of public opinion. Comment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Running amok with power in Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago: Given where it ranks on the scale of international concerns, we have never before found it necessary to devote consecutive columns to political goings-on in Trinidad and Tobago. Alas, a deplorable and deteriorating state of affairs there has beckoned us to step onto this untraveled terrain. Comment.

Working together to end campus sexual violence

Viewpoints: Campus sexual violence has been the subject of an intense national conversation recently, but that dialogue often lacks critical input from schools that are already taking steps to improve their campus climates. Colleges and universities, it’s time for you to lead on this issue. Comment.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Healthy diets for healthy lives

Viewpoints: ROME, May 5, 2015 (IPS) - In the last half-century, people’s lifestyles have changed dramatically. Life expectancy has risen almost everywhere, but this has been accompanied by an increase of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes – causing more and more deaths in all corners of the world. Comments (1).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Election without trickery, the hope in T&T

Trinidad and Tobago: They’re seriously into election-watch mode in Trinidad and Tobago. Actually, some may think “Kamla-watch” to be the more apt characterization, as it is whatever stealth move(s) Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar may be fixing to unleash that have curiosity levels high throughout the society. A while back, waxing colloquial, the prime minister had said no one was going to “jumbie” her into announcing an election date before she was good and ready to do so. But wiggle room to play that timing game with the all-important date has gotten narrower, now that we’ve entered the month of May. And Bissessar, to her chagrin, could find herself getting too cute about her announcement of when the country will go to the polls. Comment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lack of trade finance a barrier for developing countries

Viewpoints: GENEVA, May 2 2015 (IPS) - Up to 80 percent of global trade is supported by some form of financing or credit insurance. Yet in many countries there is a lack of capacity in the financial sector to support trade, and also a lack of access to the international financial system. Therefore the ability of these countries to use simple instruments such as letters of credit is limited. Comment.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Opinon: Why workers celebrate May Day 2015

Viewpoints: Recently, thousands of workers all over the country took to the streets demanding a hike in the minimum wage to $15/hour. Our Fight for $15 campaign highlighted the income inequality that has made the gap between the haves and have-nots as wide as the Grand Canyon. It also underscored its moral and practical pitfalls and spurred some in Congress to act. Comment.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A plan to extend the life of critical NYCHA properties

Viewpoints: A $100 million plan announced this month by New York City and HUD to retrofit nearly 300 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings will be important for the environment, our city’s affordable housing inventory and tenants. Comments (1).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming economies, realising rights

Viewpoints: UNITED NATIONS, April 27, 2015 (IPS) - Our world is out of balance. It is both wealthier and more unequal today than at any time since the Second World War. Comment.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hydrogen fuel cell an attractive option

Viewpoints: In the run-up to a solar eclipse on March 20 of this year, European tabloids had a Y2K-style field day. In the middle of a bright, sunny day, European solar panels together produce about as much electricity as 90 large nuclear power plants. Germany, with the largest solar commitment, obtains as much as 50 percent of its electricity from the sun during the sunniest hours. The eclipse was scheduled to arrive in the middle of the day and panic was setting in. Comment.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Predatory practices against developing countries

Viewpoints: GENEVA, April 6, 2015 (IPS) - The world’s attention turned to the practices of vulture funds after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court opinion in the NML Capital vs Argentina case, which forbids the country from making payments on its restructured debt. Comment.