Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Madoff-Man of the Year

By Raffique Shah
December 28, 2008

Bernie MadoffPREDICTABLY, Time magazine named US President-elect Barack Obama as its “Individual of the Year, 2008”. Obama would undoubtedly emerge as “the Man” for publications and institutions that usually bestow such annual honours. In fact, for most people across the world, Obama is the Man of the Century, matters not that we are a mere eight tumultuous years into an era that is as unpredictable as Obama’s stature is predictable.
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‘Tipping Point’ truly an amazing book

By Derren Joseph
December 28, 2008

I was on Facebook, and someone’s “status” message said something about enjoying a book called The Tipping Point.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big DifferenceI smiled when I read that message. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference was an amazing book for me. My friend Stuart des Vignes recommended it to me some years back. I was not disappointed—so now, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand social phenomena.

Tipping Point is, apparently, a sociological term to describe “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”
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Heavy rains create havoc in North-West

December 22, 2008

Builders Warned
…Imbert knocks unscrupulous developers after Diego floods

Imbert suggests relocation
Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert says the ultimate solution to the flooding that has been experienced by those who live close to river banks in flood prone areas may be to have them relocated.
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Descent into animalism

By Raffique Shah
December 21, 2008

Trini PeopleIt has been that kind of year. It was unpredictable at the beginning, became tumultuous as it regressed (well, I can’t quite say “progressed”), and as it comes to an end it leaves one wondering: would I live to see anything like this again? If you are a humanist, a caring person, you also wonder if your children or grandchildren would experience anything worse than you have in 2008.
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No, we can’t

By Raffique Shah
December 14, 2008

Barack ObamaEVER since Barack Obama shot into the limelight and coined the campaign slogan “Yes, We Can!” politicians of all hues and persuasions across the world have adopted it to suit their own agendas. Upon becoming President-elect then putting together a same faces, different administrations White House team, Obama ignited a passion for what many see as “national consensus” politics. That, too, has caught on, especially among politicians in opposition, those whose only hope for sharing in the spoils of office lie in accommodation by the lucky ones who have power.
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PM Manning: I do not fear death

By Andre Bagoo and Clint Chan Tack
Friday, December 12 2008

PM Patrick ManningPRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning left hurriedly yesterday for Cuba to undergo surgery at the Cimex Hospital in Havana to remove a malignant tumour in his left kidney.

Manning made the startling revelation at the weekly post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, where he was the only minister present.

Hours later, Manning left on board a Panamanian Copa aircraft. He told reporters that all steps have been taken to ensure that the Government functions smoothly until he returns home in early January 2009.
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Cholera Outbreak Outcome of West’s War on Zimbabwe

By Stephen Gowans
December 08, 2008

Zimbabwe WatchThe crisis in Zimbabwe has intensified. Inflation is incalculably high. The central bank limits – to an inadequate level – the amount of money Zimbabweans can withdraw from their bank accounts daily. Unarmed soldiers riot, their guns kept under lock and key, to prevent an armed uprising. Hospital staff fail to show up for work. The water authority is short of chemicals to purify drinking water. Cholera, easily prevented and cured under normal circumstances, has broken out, leading the government to declare a humanitarian emergency.
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Failure of the Eurocentric Development Model

By Ras Tyehimba
December 07, 2008

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Port of SpainMany people agree that this country is in serious crisis. However, I find that many of these perspectives on the state of Trinidad and Tobago rarely touch on the roots of the issues, especially as they fail to recognize that many of the problems we face are built into the very fabric of Caribbean and Trinbagonian society. Thus, addressing these problems calls for a fundamental questioning of the origins and evolution of our society.
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Double up on doubles’ price

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, December 7th 2008

DoublesI can’t claim to have known anything about Consumer Affairs Minister Peter Taylor until two weeks when he singled out “doubles” as a target for price reduction. That statement signalled to me that the minister was doubly ignorant about his portfolio, maybe even wholly unsuited for the job. Indeed, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who will read this column from a hospital bed in Havana, may want to consider doubling up on ministers in this ministry by naming a Junior Minister of Doubles.
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Vote first; ask questions later

By William Blum
December 03, 2008

Barack ObamaOkay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. It was historic. I choked up a number of times, tears came to my eyes, even though I didn’t vote for him. I voted for Ralph Nader for the fourth time in a row.

During the past eight years when I’ve listened to news programs on the radio each day I’ve made sure to be within a few feet of the radio so I could quickly change the station when that preposterous man or one of his disciples came on; I’m not a masochist, I suffer fools very poorly, and I get bored easily. Sad to say, I’m already turning the radio off sometimes when Obama comes on. He doesn’t say anything, or not enough, or not often enough. Platitudes, clichés, promises without substance, “hope and change”, almost everything without sufficient substance, “change and hope”, without specifics, designed not to offend.
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