Fit for the military

By Raffique Shah
January 25, 2015

Raffique ShahThere are many arguments in favour of extending the compulsory retirement age for members of the armed forces, the strongest being the fact that there are retirees receiving full pension at age 47, many of whom are fit and healthy and can easily work for another 20 years, which most do.
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Political innovation instead of political (ex)change

By Jamille Broome
January 25 2015 – newsday.co.tt

ParliamentFor years, political parties have promulgated change on their campaign platforms. Looking back, they’ve all purported to know what and how to change the problems within our once peaceful and thriving society, but at the end of the day, we’re always left with nothing more than exchange. Every election, our parties mount platforms to engage in negative campaigning in order to convince the populace why NOT to vote for the opposing side(s), rather than emphasising their own positive attributes or preferred policies. Of course, this is effective in Trinidad and Tobago because we are a society of bacchanal. Remind us of how much money was stolen and how ineffective the last crime strategy was and you will definitely be the next party in power.
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Aramalaya as the Catalyst for Hillview Today

By Stephen Kangal
January 22, 2015

Stephen KangalStatement delivered by Stephen Kangal, member of the Pioneering Class of 1955 at the Thanksgiving and Plaque Dedication Service held at Aramalaya Church on Saturday 17 January 2015 to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Hillview College.
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Talk Raoul, talk history

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2015

Raffique ShahRaoul Pantin and I never worked together as journalists in the 40-odd years that I knew him. Yet, in some curious ways, our lives and paths intertwined and intersected, particularly during the major political convulsions in the nation’s history.

As products of the same generation, we forged a friendship that allowed us to share experiences of different eras (witness his “Afro” hairstyle in the 1970s and my rebellious profile) even as we at times disagreed on issues. When, last Wednesday, I heard he had passed on, I realised that a phone call I had planned to make early in the New Year would now never happen—a cruel reminder that we had both reached “that age” when one must do what one plans since there may be no tomorrow.
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The “Why”: The Spectacular Media Failure on Charlie Hebdo

By Shamus Cooke
January 15, 2015 – counterpunch.org

Charlie HebdoA core tenet of journalism is answering the question “why.” It’s the media’s duty to explain “why” an event happened so that readers will actually understand what they’re reading. Leave out the “why” and then assumptions and stereotypes fill in the blank, always readily supplied by politicians whose ridiculous answers are left unquestioned by the corporate media.
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Hillview Honours Panman Pat

Statement by Stephen Kangal on Panman Pat during his Conferral of the HOBA Award on Saturday 10 January 2015 for Dedicated Service to Country and College

By Stephen Kangal
January 14, 2015

Panman Pat congratulated by Sat Balkaransingh
Panman Pat congratulated by Sat Balkaransingh
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Je ne suis pas Charlie

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 13, 2015

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Surrounded by the immensity of people who occupied every inch of space around Place de la République in Paris, France, on Sunday last (January 11) one could not imagine the amount of people who had turned out in solidarity with the 17 victims who were slain in Paris last week. Billed the French Unity March, people came from all over the country to proclaim the democratic values of France, their freedom of speech and, as one newspaper put it, the core values of Western civilization. Over 3 million people gathered in their towns and villages of France to pay tribute to their fallen comrades. The murders, it seems, touched something in their innermost being.
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Medical System a Mess

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2015

Raffique ShahThe public medical institutions in this country are in crisis. Note well that I did not say the “healthcare system” because while there have been some initiatives in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventative health care, these have not reached the mass of the population.

So we are saddled with a network of district health centres and a handful of hospitals that are charged with diagnosing and treating the sick, but which have failed to fulfil their mandate.
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MY KINDA FOLLOWERS

By Corey Gilkes
January 11, 2015

Doh believe what foreigners do/ is better than you/cause that eh true
Is a mental block/that hard to unlock/it hard like a rock/with it yuh doh wuk (that true)
Yuh go live an illusion……..trying to be another man
Doh believe what foreigners do/is better than you/because that eh true

“Blow Way” – Lancelot Layne Kebu, 1970

TrinisProfound words by one of our rap(so) pioneers (Yeah, I did that on purpose, hope it got you thinking) echoed over the years by different singers and thinkers. Last year the forever-robbed Heather Macintosh reminded us of our deeply embedded self-hate and self-doubt when she told us how we don’t see anything good in Trinbago till some foreigner say so. But didn’t Harry Belafonte and the recently departed Pete Seeger, huge cultural icons in the US, marvel at our kaiso and pan respectively years ago? In 1968 Belafonte went so far as to use selections going back as far as the 1920s to articulate the rioting and turmoil sweeping across the US and Europe in the wake of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, the assassinations of Dr Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the heavy-handed actions of the police and FBI within the US itself. And yet, to this day, we treat our artists and artistes, our panmen and poets with scant courtesy. Kaiso seems to be forever a quaint folk song, sung around Carnival time to amuse the tourists and pan is still “a noisy instrument.” Not even when we do oddah people ting and sing reggae and pop/rock we hardly give that any more respect. So I eh sure about Jointpop and Orange Sky go fare any better than Wildfire and Kalyan before them. What is certain is that in the “logic” of our self-contemptuous thinking, none of these disciplines have any relevance when the question of transforming our society comes up.
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PM’s Address to the Nation on the Economy

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarMy fellow citizens, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

When we last spoke on the eve of the New Year, 2015, I made a commitment to have this conversation with you.

My commitment came about because of growing turbulence in the global energy sector, and the impact of lower oil prices on economies such as ours.
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