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Viewpoints

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Patrick Manning’s long road to redemption

Trinidad and Tobago: Up to quite recently, it looked like former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning was intent on being a central player again in the country’s politics, after having been reduced by illness to an incidental, sideline role for the better part of the current government’s soon-to-expire term. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

Towards true Caribbean independence

Grenada: Every generation in every nation, has a few exceptionally talented individuals who go on to exhibit the caring acts and intuitive vision of stalwarts. And as the hand of time would have it, in the generational cohort which gave Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique and the Caribbean, Anthony C. George, there is certainly at least one such person. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015

Is the American business community racist?

Viewpoints: The film “Selma” calls us to consider where we stand today and what we are doing as individuals and communities about racial justice. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015

Don’t take Black History Month for granted

Viewpoints: Black History Month is almost over. Why do we celebrate it anyway? Because we must. We owe it to ourselves, regardless of where we fit among the Census Bureau’s categories. Awareness of the contributions of Black men and women to the betterment of civilization should be embedded in every educated person who is sensitive to the world around us. And those who are not as well. Comment.

An utterly un-presidential 2016 contender

Viewpoints: The findings of a Rutgers-Eagleton survey on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie released last week showed the governor’s favorability numbers taking a nosedive, 42 percent of NJ voters approving and 52 percent disapproving of his performance in office. A far cry, this, from those salad days when, back in 2013, he was seeking a second term and, he would later admit, was looking to “run up the score” against his opponent as he and his retinue tried to bolster what they saw as presidential credentials in the man. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

People power, the solution to climate inaction

Viewpoints: BRISBANE, Feb. 10, 2015 (IPS) - Nothing is more important to farmers like me than the weather. It affects the growth and quality of our crops and livestock, and has a major impact on global food supply. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

The T&T leader’s ‘see-through’ subterfuge

Viewpoints: There’s been no shortage of comment since Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s dramatic action a few days ago, in firing several colleagues, from both within the cabinet and elsewhere in her beleaguered government, in the wake of yet another scandal. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

I hope to God, they preserve it!

Viewpoints: In the midst of this bitter cold February month in Brooklyn, we had some warmth in our hearts to welcome the charming and endearing performing artiste, Diana Ross at the Kings Theatre, last Tuesday evening. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you

Viewpoints: SEATTLE, Washington, Feb 7 2015 (IPS) - “Enhanced interrogation”: the George W. Bush administration bureaucrats who coined the term had perfect pitch. The apparatchiks of Kafka’s Castle would have admired the grayness of the euphemism. But while it sounds like some new kind of focus group, it turns out it was just anodyne branding for good old-fashioned torture. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015

It is high time for these court hearings to end

Viewpoints: It seems as if Mr. Michael Ashcroft will not stop pursuing the people and Government of Belize for this 33.5 million dollars that he claims he is owed. I have heard our Prime Minister The Right Honorable Dean Barrow said over and over again that in his opinion, the then Prime Minister Said Musa and his Attorney General Francis Fonseca now the Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), acted illegally by approving the payment of the loan without the approval of the Belize’s National Assembly. Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Getting mean-spirited about the weather

Viewpoints: It is the cheapest of cheap shots to dump on public officials who, in full better-safe-than-sorry mode, make decisions about how to respond to predicted adverse weather conditions based on word relayed by forecasters. Politician types, the media and others who jump all over a sequence like we experienced recently in New York City, when blizzard conditions we were prepared for didn’t quite materialize, are flat-out intent only on exploiting the possibilities they see in such situations for ridicule and general bad-mouthing aimed at whoever is on the hot seat. It’s tawdry stuff. Comment.

Patent examination and legal fictions

Viewpoints: GENEVA, Feb. 3, 2015 (IPS) - Industry’s demands and political pressures exerted by developed countries to expand and strengthen patent protection worldwide have been based on the argument that patents promote innovation and thereby contribute to achieve social, political and economic well-being, independently of the level of development of the country where they are granted and enforced. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

Row over Jamaica’s bid to slow beach erosion

Jamaica: KINGSTON, Feb. 2, 2015 (IPS) - A plan that government says will slow the rate of erosion on Jamaica’s world-famous Negril beach is being opposed by the people whose livelihoods it is meant to protect. Comment.

A free and open internet for an innovative and competitive economy

Viewpoints: If you’re reading this online, thank net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet content must be delivered equally. This article shouldn’t be transmitted more slowly than another one. Your cat video shouldn’t be given priority over a TED Talk. More importantly, your small business’ website shouldn’t be loaded slower than Amazon’s. Put it this way: Net neutrality prevents preferential treatment; it is freedom from interference. Comment.

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Two kinds of income inequality

Viewpoints: Income inequality is back in the news, propelled by an Oxfam International report and President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The question is whether government needs to do something about this — or whether government needs to undo many things Comment.

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Cuba/US: Catching a glimpse of the possible future

Viewpoints: HAVANA, Jan. 21, 2015 (IPS) - All Cubans, on either side of the Florida Straits, but in places like Spain, France or Greenland – where there must be a couple of Cubans – as well felt it was a historic moment that included each and every one of us, when U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Dec. 17 the normalisation of relations after half a century of hostility. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

Dems not blameless in GOP Capitol gains

Viewpoints: Speaker John Boehner was constrained to remark in a TV interview the other day that President Obama, during his recent State of the Union address, was looking out on members from the House and Senate that included 80 more Republicans than the last time he had done his State of the Union routine. Boehner’s beef — that the president’s speech should have reflected in tone and content the new Republican plurality, but didn’t — was of course no excuse for the scowl the speaker wore on his face while sitting in back of the president for the entire hour or so of the address. Comment.

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.
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