Monthly Archive for November, 2008

Religious zealots take us to the brink

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taj MahalEVEN as India’s elite military units were flushing out the remnants of the terrorists who launched a bloody, well-coordinated attack on several symbolic targets in Mumbai, the blame-game was underway. Predictably, Gujarat’s Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, openly accused Pakistan of being behind the attacks. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was more diplomatic in his comments, as was his Foreign Minister. What is clear, though, is following this multi-pronged assault on that country’s commercial capital, war between India and Pakistan is a strong possibility.
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Smoking gun

Newsday Editorial
Thursday, November 27 2008

SmokingThe Tobacco Bill now being debated in Parliament seems to be a case of using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. And, as with a shotgun, there is the danger of injuring innocent bystanders while the mosquito flies free.

To be sure, smoking leads to major health problems for many people. Heart disease, strokes, and cancer are three of the five leading causes of death in Trinidad and Tobago, and all these diseases have been linked to tobacco use. But, at the heart of this issue is the question of rights, including people’s right to harm themselves. A smoker, after all, chooses to smoke. Since people own their bodies (save in slave cultures) it is therefore their right to do as they please with themselves. In respect to tobacco legislation, two main counter-arguments to this position are generally proffered: first, that advertising persuades people to start and continue smoking; and, secondly, that second-hand smoke is as harmful as smoking itself.
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Cutbacks must start at the top

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2008

PM Patrick ManningSo we have come full circle-responding only when the White “massa”, or “missus” in this case, wields the whip. Government has belatedly decided to review its expenditure in light of the global financial and economic crises. The announcement to that effect came immediately after the IMF’s Christina Daseking warned government about its spending spree, saying it must rein in unnecessary expenditure if the country is to weather the global storm.
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PM: Tighten your belts

Following is the full text of Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s address to the nation on Thursday 20, 2008

PM Patrick ManningMy fellow citizens,

I consider it most important that I address you at this time.

Before however dealing with my main purpose this evening, let me give you the assurance that the government continues to do its utmost to alleviate the plight of all those who have been adversely affected by the recent flooding.
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Floods take toll on T&T

Flooding in Trinidad

Floods take toll on T&T
Still reeling from the effects of Monday’s heavy rains and flooding, Port-of-Spain suffered another major blow yesterday as several disasters, natural and otherwise, shut down vehicular and pedestrian movement in and around the capital city.
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Cancel ego trips and save money

PM Patrick ManningTHE EDITOR: There is a saying that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. This was clearly demonstrated over the last few weeks by Finance Minister’s Karen Nunez-Tesheira, Mariano Browne and Energy Minister Conrad Enill.
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Extended Allegations

PM Patrick Manning and Dr. Keith Rowley

Sunday, November 16 2008
Newsday Editorial

Faced with the choice to apologise to his erstwhile colleague Diego Martin West MP Keith Rowley, or to brazen out his allegation that Dr Rowley is responsible for missing monies in the Cleaver Heights housing project, Prime Minister Patrick Manning has chosen the latter course.
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Of fools and spirits

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, November 16th 2008

Trini PeopleCALL me The Trini-Spirit. In this incarnation I wield power and influence over all in this land. Like a true Trini-Genie, I pop out of a bottle and control the minds of men and women, from ministers and criminals to aberrations like Juliet Davy. When I see the antics of our politicians, criminals and crazed-motorists, I feel proud they all sip from my bottle and not any bogus chalice.
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Convert PM1 to CNG

November 15 2008
T&T Newsday Editorial

ParliamentIf the Government is so intent on having citizens use Compressed Natural Gas, Ministers should start by converting their own vehicles to CNG. Speaking in the Senate last Thursday on the issue, Minister in the Finance Ministry Mariano Browne was very gung-ho about all the benefits that would accrue to consumers and the wider society through CNG conversion: fewer emissions, less wear and tear on engines, fewer oil changes, and reduction in engine noise. If this is so, then Mr Browne and his colleagues need to take the lead in installing conversion kits into their new vehicles purchased at low interest rates thanks to their standing as Members of Parliament.
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Obama’s Bob Marley effect

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
November 09, 2008

Barack ObamaOne of the hidden, unnoticed and unsung variables in the recently concluded United States Presidential elections was the Bob Marley effect in Senator Barack Obama’s run for the United States presidency and his awesome victory.

Robert “Bob” Nestor Marley and Senator Barack Obama both have one thing in common: a white parent. Bob Marley’s father was British and white; Senator Barack Obama’s mother was American and white.
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