Monthly Archive for January, 2007

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Do not follow the U.S. prison system

By Linda E. Edwards
January 20, 2007

Re: Marion O’Callahan’s Commentary in Newsday

JailThere are two additional ways we do not want, definitely do not want, to follow the U.S. prison system.

1. The building of private prisons to be leased to the state is one of them. In this system – example Corrections Corporation of America – (check the U.S. stock exchange for trading values), shareholders get together and build a prison. Now for the shareholders to make a profit, just like a hotel, the institution has to operate at maximum efficiency. That is full or almost full. So shareholders have a vested interest in keeping these prisons full.
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Defending the Maxi-Taxi Success

By Stephen Kangal
January 19, 2007

Rapid RailA self-imposed media embargo seems to have overtaken Minister Colm Imbert lately on the tenuous fate of his TRRP. This prognosis has been reinforced by the negative and depressing body language that he displayed while communicating to the press at Whitehall on the Interchange. I am coming to the intuitive conclusion that Cabinet seems to have ordered secretly a pre-emptive moratorium against the TRRP, in an election year, to avoid any further disastrous fallout from another major reversal and embarrassment while the wounds inflicted by the Chatham debacle are still fresh, politically painful and electorally threatening.
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Will Iran be another Iraq?

By George Allyene, newsday.co.tt
January 17 2007

IranIs the plan announced recently by the George Bush Administration to dispatch an additional 21,500 American troops to Iraq really an excuse for a United States military build up on the Iraq-Iran border and a prelude to a US invasion of Iran?

It is understood that the real reason for the US 2003 invasion of Iraq was not that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but that it was being paid for its crude oil to the European Union (EU) in Euros and not in the traditional US dollars, and had been encouraging OPEC members to do the same. Is Iran’s reported decision to follow Iraq’s example and have its oil paid for in Euros the reason for the planned US troop boost?
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“A Little Child Shall Lead Them?”

By Linda E. Edwards
January 17, 2007

Choc'late AllenI have not met Choc’late Allen, but the adulation of three media columnists, two in the Guardian, one in the Express and at www.trinicenter.com caught my attention. Immediately the above quotation came to mind. I also thought of Lincoln Myers, who fasted on the steps of the Halls of Justice twenty or so years ago, to many odd comments and assumptions. I thought of Christ, fasting in the wilderness, and of Ghandi, and the Dalai Lama, of Muslims fasting for Ramadan, and Christians who used to fast during lent, and I thought of the bloodily violent movie Children of Men that opened in theaters in the U.S. last Friday.
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One Choc’late with courage, please

By Raffique Shah
January 07, 2007

Choc'late AllenFirst, the positive sides to Choc’late Allen’s foray into the public limelight as she sought to highlight the many problems that bedevil the nation. Choc’late herself embodies the biggest positive. Here’s a girl (I’m tempted to use “child”, but she is mature way past her age) who is brimming with self-confidence, very articulate (she puts many a politician, including would-be prime ministers, to shame), and very informed. She also disabuses our minds of the notion that most people her age are destined to the problems we face, not the solutions to them. And to top off her “positives”, she is not even a product of our education system, but home educated.
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Discrediting the Rapid Rail Messengers

By Stephen Kangal
January 12, 2007

Rapid RailArrogance and insensitivity continues to cloud what little judgment is left in Works Minister, Colm Imbert, in dealing with the increasing chorus of critics of his billion-dollar Trinidad Rapid Rail (TRRP) elephantine monstrosity. Imbert as a servant of the people must curb his penchant for discrediting and impugning the integrity of the TRRP messengers with the hope that their message will be ignored and seen as self-serving. Imbert and Manning are driven by objectivity. The rest of us in T&T are influenced by emotions especially when we disagree with their smelters and rail monstrosities.
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Racism and Children Failing in School

By Linda E. Edwards
January 11, 2007

School ChildrenThe Socialist Worker, in an article titled “Schools Report Shows Young People’s Lives Are Blighted by Racism” reprinted by Trinicenter.com, reports that many young people’s school lives are devoid of hope due to racism and poverty. The report, which was first published on December 16, 2006, applies to Britain and British schools. Trinidad and Tobago’s education personnel should not pass up the opportunity to read the article and learn from it.
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UNC: Bring back hangings

Trinidad Express
January 10th 2007

JailOpposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says killers should be hanged.

“I believe that we need to seriously examine the actual implementation of the death penalty.

“Yes, I am speaking about bringing back hanging. We live in drastic times now and drastic measures are necessary,” she said at the United National Congress’s Monday night People’s Forum at Gasparillo.
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Only the people can free the people

By Raffique Shah
January 07, 2007

Trini PeopleI don’t know that Bernard Kerik or Scotland Yard officers can help us out of the crime mess that we have created and in which we are close to drowning. This cesspool is so typically Trinidadian, we cannot expect foreigners to begin to understand how we plunged into the pit. It’s true that many countries have their own crime problems that make us look relatively good. But one cannot compare the anarchy in Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere in Brazil, or high crime in parts of India or South Africa, with ours. These are countries with huge populations and land masses we can only imagine. We are a two-by-two country with a ten-by-ten crime problem that defies imagination.
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A Watershed Moment of People’s Power

By Stephen Kangal

Aluminum Smelter PlantDemocrats must celebrate and document for posterity this defining and watershed moment in the victorious enactment of people’s power by our Chatham folk. The script of the politics of post-Chatham T&T has been rewritten by the simple, rural, ordinary God-fearing people of Chatham. Their message to us is that State arrogance, insensitivity and unilateralism have no place in the new people centred political order that they have now ushered in. No government can now afford to underestimate the will and determination of the salt of the earth to defend and conserve the integrity of their living spaces as well as their inalienable right to be consulted and heard in democratic T&T.
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