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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.

Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Stop those who would stop Uber

Viewpoints: Imagine coming to a city and doing business without first seeking permission from local authorities? The nerve of these people! Comments (1).

Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Attorney General to return to Caribbean

Barbados: Eric Holder will soon be resigning from his office as the first African American attorney general of the United States, but he is working to ensure he has one last high-level meeting with Caribbean Community officials before doing so in the coming weeks. Comment.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

Separate fact from fiction on Charter Schools

Viewpoints: Too few of our modern-day state leaders appreciate the absolute role they must play in bringing about substantive change in America’s schools. Even with more than half of states electing reform-minded governors who have either proven to be champions of reforms during their tenure or have run on platforms that don’t shy away from being vocal about putting parents and students first, it’s imperative all leaders come to appreciate good governance and reach across the aisle for the sake of children. After all, it’s how some of the boldest reforms were born, such as charter schools in Minnesota in 1991. Comment.

Separate economy and the state

Viewpoints: For centuries, governments established, controlled, regulated, and subsidized religious activity. Then some people began asking a revolutionary question: Why not separate religious activity and the state in such a way that the state would be barred from involving itself in any religious activity whatsoever? Comment.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014

A presidential smart-card named Lynch

Viewpoints: Ever since the announcement was made that Loretta Lynch was President Obama’s nominee to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, there’s been media speculation about the president having reached beyond his inner circle to make that choice, a far cry from his selection of the departing Holder. Comment.

The darkest day for democracy in Guyana

Guyana: To The Editor: A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is enraged at President Donald Ramotar’s promulgation of a proclamation to prorogue parliament on Monday 10th November 2014. This is the darkest day for democracy in Guyana. Comment.

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

Some hollow condemnation for talking straight

Viewpoints: Even if Louisiana’s Democratic senator, Mary Landrieu, ultimately loses her re-election bid, one would hope that some principled forthrightness on her part, relative to the 2014 campaign — standing firm on reiterating a well established socio-political reality about the South — would be an enduring source of pride for the senator. Comment.

The Pentagon comes up short on climate

Viewpoints: The Pentagon recently released a new report sounding the alarm on the national security threats posed by climate change. Like previous reports on the subject, this one makes clear that Department of Defence (DoD) planners believe that global warming will seriously challenge our nation’s military forces. Comment.

Resignation of NYPD Chief Banks leaves PD wanting

Viewpoints: The resignation of Chief Philip Banks, the highest ranking African-American official, of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is an unfortunate circumstance that should be troubling for Mayor Bill deBlasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, as it is for the entire City. Comment.

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Is there even worse D.C. dysfunction ahead?

Viewpoints: So the 2014 midterm elections are here. Since some bare-faced gerrymandering put control of the House beyond Democrats’ reach a few years ago, only the Senate holds any mystery as far as the post-election breakdown of seats, and has thus commanded most of the attention, including the obscene amount of money poured into campaigns across the country. Comment.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Ebola, human rights and poverty – Making the links

Viewpoints: CAMBRIDGE, Massachussetts, Oct 27, 2014 (IPS) - The catastrophic Ebola crisis unfolding in West Africa offers many lessons, not least for global anti-poverty efforts. These will culminate in a set of targets, to be agreed by the United Nations in 2015, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Comment.

Water shutoffs and unintended consequences

Viewpoints: CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Oct 24 2014 (IPS) - United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque and Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha were in Detroit, Michigan Oct. 17-20. Comment.

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Fantasies of an Obama-style breakthrough

Viewpoints: When we get to the point where mention in the media of the name of Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, is regularly accompanied by the line that he is a prospective 2016 Republican presidential aspirant, you understand why buzz continues about Mitt Romney being seriously courted within the party to be a third-time seeker of the nomination. Comment.

Open letter to Vincentians on crime and violence

St Vincent: To The Editor: As our blessed homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), commemorates its 35th Anniversary of Independence, we acknowledge the strides and gains we have made as a people to secure our sovereignty. Yet we acknowledge that our quest for independence has not always been without social, economic and political challenges, which have at times tested our resolve as a people. Notwithstanding, our resilience has always brought us through and will continue to give us moments for which we can be justly proud. As our anthem asserts, “What e’er the future brings, our faith will see us through.” Comment.

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Fighting again for rights already secured

Viewpoints: The disturbing irony we’ve already noted here, of Barack Obama’s elevation to president signaling to a sizeable segment of this society the need for rolling back, not advancing, certain hard-fought, long denied privileges of democracy to some citizens, has nowhere been more starkly manifested than in what’s been done across the country with the voting process. Which, let’s be clear, really refers to the voting process as it pertains to people of color and others in the overall demographic of minority voters. The Republican/Tea Party collective came on like gangbusters to “fix” things when the first-term Obama off-year election was approaching in 2010. And, having in the interim secured appropriate tools of mischief, they’re ready again this year to make sure that stamp of regression remains ever more firmly affixed. Comment.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

Not the route to take

Trinidad and Tobago: When Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh announced his second hunger strike I, like most people, began to wonder whether he would surpass his previous 21-day record. For most Trinidadians the thought of 21 days without food or water is almost unthinkable. Comment.

Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014

Forgiveness may hold key to health, youthfulness

Viewpoints: Generally, people believe that as they get older their beauty, health, and youthfulness diminish with age. For this reason, many lean toward plastic surgery, strenuous exercise, and harsh diet. However, this is not true for this writer, Minister Janet Lovell, 55, looking better today than I did in my thirties. My miraculous transformation was done without medical science or the above mentioned. My life changing health and wellbeing I attribute to the act of forgiveness. Comment.

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

Those coalition partners of ‘pipsqueak’ status

Viewpoints: For the second time since entering the 2000’s, we’re deep in “coalition” talk, thanks this time to the strange breed calling themselves ISIS. President Obama, despite his reassurances to the contrary, may well have to commit U.S. ground troops to the effort to rout this collection of maniacs, because of revolting behavior they not only practice but seem to have a sick fetish for advertising. Given today’s cause, getting member states of the UN aboard in the attempt to assemble a coalition has been nothing like the side show when George W. Bush and his bloodthirsty phalanx tried doing the same for their Iraq misadventure. Back then the coalition-building process extended even to offering enticements for joining. But a shared feature of both undertakings was the presence of power hitters as well as partners of markedly lesser consequence. Comment.

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014

Planet racing towards catastrophe and politics just looking on

Viewpoints: ROME, Oct 6, 2014 (IPS) - If ever there was a need to prove that we are faced with a total lack of global governance, the U.N. Climate Summit, extraordinarily called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sep. 23, makes a very good case. Comment.

Monday, Oct. 6, 2014

Will American Ground Troops Be Sent to Fight ISIS?

National: With the United States dropping bombs on yet another Muslim country, we might benefit from a close look at President Obama’s anti–Islamic State strategy. Obama and his spokespeople are always quick to make two points: first, that no American ground forces will be sent into combat against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and second, that the United States will merely be part, albeit a leading part, of a broad coalition of Arab and NATO countries. The Obama administration’s emphasis on these points strongly suggests that Americans would not support a war against ISIS fought solely by the United States with American ground troops as part of the effort. Comment.

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Tackling the proliferation of patents to avoid limitations to competition

Viewpoints: GENEVA, Sept., 29 2014 (IPS) - The steady increase in patent applications and grants that is taking place in developed and some developing countries (notably in China) is sometimes hailed as evidence of the strength of global innovation and of the role of the patent system in encouraging it. Comment.

Holder, a fearless social justice warrior

Viewpoints: It’s been our expressed view here that one unfortunate hiccup of the Obama tenure has been his apparent diffidence about the “black president” perception in the wider society, perhaps most notably dramatized in both first and second-term cabinets including but a solitary African American presence. Announcement of Eric Holder’s intention to resign as attorney general pointed up again the lone-wolf status he has had among the administration’s frontliners. Be that as it may, and even as speculation kicked off regarding his replacement, it needs be said that if President Obama saw fit to be served by only one cabinet-level person of color, we would just as soon have had Eric Holder be that choice. Comment.

End-of-life nightmare lesson for all

Viewpoints: The tragic legal battle between legendary radio host Casey Kasem’s family members over his end-of-life care before he died in June is a teachable moment for millions of Americans. It illustrates the challenges and importance of end-of-life planning. It also demonstrates the urgency to reform the system so millions of baby boomers and their aging parents do not experience a similar nightmare. Comment.
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