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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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WIPO and Caribbean IP, what’s the point?

Caribbean: Recent months have seen a few interesting intellectual property symposia in the Caribbean, in particular the WIPO–JIPO Regional Conference on IP and creative industries, which was held in Jamaica from Feb. 10-12, 2014. It is quite interesting that in spite of the intention that it should be regional as indicated in the title of the conference, there seems to have been little participation from the 15-member countries of CARICOM and that most of the sessions focused on Jamaica and its situation, perhaps a natural outcome of the WIPO–JIPO collaboration. Comment.

Ending the Taxpayer Subsidy for exorbitant executive bonuses

National: There is an outrage in our tax code and it’s costing you money. Federal law currently gives publicly–held corporations a special tax deduction when they pay their executives huge “performance-based” bonuses. The deduction can be worth millions of dollars. The more they shower their executives with such pay, the less publicly-held corporations pay in federal taxes. Comment.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The ‘Democratic’ origin and evolution of racism

Viewpoints: Einstein reasoned, you “cannot alter a condition with the same mindset that created it in the first place.” In other words, solutions require thinking that transcends the mindset which caused and/or contributes to undesirable conditions. Using this premise to examine racism in America, the question becomes: To what origin is modern racism anchored and how can existing bounds of thought be transcended for new national discourse to redress the causes and conditions? Comment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Very questionable ‘expertise’ from this senator

Viewpoints: It is appropriate to ask how much deference is due a prisoner of war after his or her release, perhaps more so in light of the eruption of unseemly hostility that surrounded the recent release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he was held captive for five years in Afghanistan. But the angry response to the Bergdahl release and swap for five supposedly bad guys held by the U.S. made for quite a contrast with another well-known p.o.w whose red-carpet ride continues, decades after his release from imprisonment in North Vietnam. Comment.

Change has come to sports in the USA

Viewpoints: Coming to America was no easy transition for sports aficionados arriving as immigrants from the Caribbean. In Jamaica, track and field, soccer AKA football and cricket were the seasonal attractions. Therefore, when I attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx to find a soccer team in place, it was assurance that a measure of familiarly would prevail. Comment.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The noninterventionists told you so

Viewpoints: Contrary to popular belief, there is no satisfaction in being able to say, “I told you so.” This is especially so with Iraq, where recent events are enough to sicken one’s stomach. Yet it still must be said: those who opposed the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — not to mention his father’s war on Iraq in 1991 and the sanctions enforced through the administration of Bill Clinton — were right. Comment.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Overcoming inequality and climate change

Viewpoints: NEW YORK, June 17, 2014 (IPS) - Two major injustices – inequality and climate change – are threatening to undermine the efforts of millions of people to escape poverty and hunger. Comments (1).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chiming in again after getting Iraq wrong

Viewpoints: It’s no big-time brain teaser to come up with America’s worst foreign policy fiasco of the last 40 years. The George W. Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq is hands-down winner. That elaborate sales pitch Bush and his posse of blood-thirsty neo-imperialists concocted to justify strong-armed action against Saddam, not just for the American public but the world, will probably stand for years as one of the biggest con jobs ever used as an excuse for war. Comment.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Possibly hinting at bold new leadership

Viewpoints: As President Obama keeps plugging away, trying to navigate a divided Congress -- the most daunting of challenges, with House Republicans, in particular, uniformly committed to non-cooperation – there’s no end, correspondingly, to the pile-on of banner issues from which GOP obstructionists hope to reap political pay dirt. Comment.

FPWA recognizes June as National Safety Month

Health: By The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Each June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month as an opportunity to bring attention to important safety issues including preventing slips, trips and falls. The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) recognizes programs and community-based organizations throughout New York City serving vulnerable older New Yorkers that provide them with injury prevention strategies and instruction so they may live safely in their homes. Comment.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Live FIFA World Cup broadcasts at SOBs

Music: Football fans will not have to sacrifice watching delayed games from Brazil the way they were forced to in 2010 when South Africa hosted the FIFA competitions. On this go-round SOBs (Sounds of Brazil) in Manhattan promises live coverage from June 12 until July 13 when the competition ends. Comment.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sterling qualities missing, but no problem

Viewpoints: Donald Sterling has come to dominate the national space in a way that should be quite vexing to any of us who hold certain values dear. Ever since Sterling’s “girlfriend,” or in whatever capacity that young woman served, spilled the beans about his racist core, news of one kind or another relative to this guy seems to have secured a permanent spot on the media menu. Comment.
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