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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Still determined to force-feed us war

National: When FDR delivered his historic “day that will live in infamy” speech about the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, there was no great cajoling effort needed to get the American public on board with the idea that the most muscular of responses was the only way to go. Likewise was the population galvanized into a resolve that whoever was responsible, 60 years later, for the 9/11 atrocities should have hell to pay, regardless of whatever it would demand of U.S. resources. Comment.

Obama’s quick fix won’t solve the regional refugee crisis

Viewpoints: SAN FRANCISCO, (IPS) - In recent months, an unprecedented surge of refugee women and children has been traveling alone to the United States to seek protection at our southern border. Comment.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Walk in their shoes

Viewpoints: I’m a CEO with a GED, and I have walked in the shoes of a minimum wage worker. I know from experience that it’s a tougher road today. The minimum wage buys fewer necessities now than it did when I needed it to survive. And as a successful capitalist, it pains me to see that the American Dream, which so inspired me, is increasingly out of reach. Comment.

Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014

Unpardonable ‘dis’ of the steel band culture

Arts & Theater: The lineup of activities for the 2014 Labor Day weekend West Indian Carnival is history. And, like a couple of years ago when we were constrained to make scathing reference to the appearance in the Eastern Parkway parade of a few female exhibitionists who brought the skimpy-costume fad to levels of gross indecency, so was there this year reason for taking exception, this time to a patently poor-taste move on the part of the organizers. The Steel Band Panorama contest providing backdrop for the off-color display this time around. Comment.

Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

Boosting resilience in the Caribbean countries

Environment: UNITED NATIONS, Aug 26, 2014 (IPS) - Having lived and worked for more than a decade in four Caribbean countries, I have witnessed first hand how Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are extremely vulnerable to challenges ranging from debt and unemployment to climate change and sea level rise. Comment.

Whopping $700 media fee creates controversy

Arts & Theater: After 46 years of coverage of the annual West Indian American Day Associations annual festivities in Brooklyn, in an un-precedented action, the organizers required media individuals to pay a whopping $700 in order to report on the activities. Comments (1).

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Grisly repercussions from wrong-headed policy

National: Occurrences like that ghastly business the other day when the ISIS marauders executed journalist James Foley serve as reminders of the major wrong turn made by George W. Bush and the warmonger crew he assembled in Washington, when they decided that invading Iraq to dethrone Saddam Hussein was a smart foreign policy move. Comment.

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

Salute to columnist Vinette K. Pryce

Movies: Tip of the hat to Caribbean journalist and Inside Life columnist Miss Vinette K. Pryce for her perceptive and thoughtful review of the award-winning, independent feature-length fiction film, “Garifuna In Peril” headlined “Indigenous Hondurans Unite to Preserve Culture.” (Inside Life Column by Vinette K. Pryce, Caribbean Life Newspaper, May 16 through May 22 2014 issue). By extension, a hearty Seremein (“Thanks” in the Garifuna Language) goes to the Caribbean Life newspaper for publishing her review. Comment.

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

The Hillary pot shots keep on coming

National: Were Hillary Clinton to decide eventually that she won’t be a presidential candidate in 2016 after all, we know this would leave a whole lot of folk quite deflated. True, she looked like a shoo-in for the White House to be back under Clinton control in 2008 too, before history took an altogether different turn. But as of now, she looks hard to beat, both for the Democratic nomination (if there’s any challenge mounted there) and when facing off against the Republican nominee. But if, when the word does come from her, it’s a “no,” there’s good reason to be understanding, even if dispirited about how that could change the complexion of the next presidential race. Comment.

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

A commitment to democracy

Trinidad and Tobago: The debate in the House of Representatives on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 was a landmark event in Trinidad and Tobago’s politics because of both the content of the proposed legislation and how Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar handled it. The most significant part of her strategy was to allow a conscience vote which freed every member of the People’s Partnership from following the guidelines of the whip, ensuring that no one would be penalised for breaching the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility. Comment.

No to casino gambling

Grenada: By CDGLH Citizens in Defence of Grenada’s Lands and Heritage has noted with dismay the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives last Thursday, Aug. 14, to permit casino gaming in hotels with at least 300 rooms. We wish to repeat and to place on record our unequivocal, unapologetic opposition to this measure as a strategy to promote economic development, particularly the tourism sector. We heard that the legislation seeks to facilitate “quality entertainment in a pure environment.” Poor Grenada! Comment.

Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014

No light stepping after chokehold outrage

Viewpoints: There would be those, certainly, for whom the expression “New York style” doesn’t have about it a ring of specialness. Not so the bulk of us who call the Big Apple home. There is, we know, a certain elan, a certain panache to New York style which is to be in no way construed as being lumped in with the rest of the pack. What most distinguishes true New York style is that it’s cool. Off-color stuff purporting to emanate from a New York source despoils our desired order. Like, upon Obama’s being declared re-elected to the presidency in 2008, we get word that a bozo identified with New York named Donald Trump calls for the citizenry to march on Washington. No less a corruption of true New York style is an African American man meeting his death while being arrested for allegedly selling “loosies” on Staten Island. Comment.

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

Improving your end-of-life healthcare

Health: The day my father died from prostate cancer -- Jan 11, 2011 -- is the day I decided that no family should ever experience the same pain. That day everything changed for me. I had worked for seven years at an organization whose sole focus is end-of-life care, yet I had not had even one conversation with my father about his end-of-life wishes. It was truly a wake-up call, an eye-opening experience I hope I never have to repeat. Comment.

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014

The U.S. government still tries to subvert Cuba

Cuba: When I saw the headline about the U.S. government and Cuba in my newspaper the other day, I thought I’d awoken in 1961. It was a Twilight Zone moment for sure: “U.S. program aimed to stir dissent in Cuba.” I expected Rod Serling to welcome me to “another dimension.” Comment.

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

Where ‘good governance’ means a big joke

Trinidad and Tobago: Chances are if Speaker John Boehner were asked, he would insist that the obstructionist, do-nothing course he and his Republican/Tea Party confederates have pursued in Congress is “good governance.” No doubt even the noxious upstart Ted Cruz would respond likewise, about his flamethrower tactics not only in the Senate, but as we’ve seen recently, in moves to also be a point man of influence for fellow extremist kooks in the House. Comment.

Tribute to Sir Howard Cooke

Jamaica: I may have been fortunate in the first place. On top of my perch as a full tenured professor of one of the world’s prominent universities for an extended period of time, I had a unique window through which a multiplicity of events could be viewed. The City University of New York (CUNY) attracts students from more than 200 countries, representing all the corners of the earth. It also boasts a commensurate quantity and quality of some of the finest faculty and administrators in academia. Comment.

The ‘global’ land rush

Viewpoints: OAKLAND, United States, Aug. 4, 2014 (IPS) - The first years of the twenty-first century will be remembered for a global land rush of nearly unprecedented scale. Comment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No coming of age happened in 2008

Viewpoints: With due apologies, I will say again, how paradoxical it is that the very event — Barack Obama’s election as president — that many a pundit characterized as America’s true coming of age, has in fact turned out to be affirmation of the country’s racist core being nowhere near declining as one of its defining markers. Comment.

Beyond the street protests

Caribbean: UNITED NATIONS, (IPS) - Women’s empowerment and political participation are not only crucial for women: they are essential for effective democratic governance, one which promotes human rights and equity. The same can be said about the importance of boosting youth political participation. Comment.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paid leave can help fix our imperfect marketplace

National: As a business person, there is one economics lesson I learn over and over again: The marketplace is essential but not perfect. It is not perfect in a variety of ways, but a big one is that not everyone can be a winner. I don’t mean winner in the sense of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Rather, a winner in the sense of middle class—with access to some discretionary income. Comment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby steps to improving chemical safety

Viewpoints: In the aftermath of the explosion of a fertilizer storage facility in West, Texas last year that killed 15 people and destroyed three schools and a nursing home, federal officials realized there are serious gaps in federal oversight authority of facilities that house dangerous chemicals. Comment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It’s ‘eyes right’ for the GOP hopefuls

Viewpoints: So, while the Hillary watch proceeds among Democrats looking toward 2016 with expectations of another winning standard bearer, on the Republican side the courtship dance by presidential aspirants to win over primary voters is in progress as well, with all the pandering to the right-wing element that now is set in stone as definitive shapers of the GOP brand. Clearly intent on assuring that flaming red base that he’s very much in the presidential hunt, even with his barrage of problems across the river, is New Jersey’s Chris Christie. Chances are the field won’t be as easy to dominate as it once looked for him. Comment.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Obama’s quick fix won’t solve the regional refugee crisis

National: SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2014 (IPS) - In recent months, an unprecedented surge of refugee women and children has been traveling alone to the United States to seek protection at our southern border. Comment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An absurd measure of presidential competence

Viewpoints: Folks on the right who engage in unrelenting Obama bashing were recently given a new addition for their collection of poison darts when a Quinnipiac poll ranking American presidents since World War II indicated that Obama was chosen by 33 percent of respondents as the worst of the lot, even “outscoring” George W. Bush for the dubious distinction, Bush getting the nod of 28 percent of those polled. Comment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fighting killer diseases is essential in the post-2015 Agenda

Viewpoints: GENEVA, July 7, 2014 (IPS) - Undeniably, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) helped lift specific health concerns onto the global agenda. For example, maternal mortality, which is addressed in MDG 5, declined 45 percent from 1990 to 2013, while deaths of children under five (MDG 4) dropped from 12.4 million to 6.6 million worldwide from 1990 to 2012, (both statistics from the World Health Organisation). If trends do not change, by 2030 NCDs will be the leading global cause of disability. Comment.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Looking back on Grenada’s revolution phase

Grenada: A huge debt is owed to filmmaker Bruce Paddington for the very important document he assembled for the Caribbean archives as producer-director of “Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution,” about the dramatic happenings that led to both emergence and implosion of the Maurice Bishop-led People’s Revolutionary Government in Grenada. Comment.
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