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Archives 2004

Christmases I remember December 26, 2004
THAT Christmas morn', 1970 it was, I was awakened from my slumber by the prisons officer's key grating on my cell-door lock, and a faint sound of music coming from somewhere.
Narrow escape from a gift 'rat' December 19, 2004
A FEW weeks ago, shortly after re-elected US President George Bush named Bernard Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security, our local "security expert", ex-Regiment Captain Gary Griffith, told the nation that the Patrick Manning Government had missed a golden opportunity.
Naraynsingh not above the law December 12, 2004
INEQUALITY in the eyes of the law, unfairness in society, and injustice against the poor will continue for as long as we have among us people who are crying foul over the arrest for murder of Dr Vijay Naraynsingh and his associates.
Caring for our aged citizens December 05, 2004
A SOCIETY that does not take care of its elderly is a society that has reverted to the laws of the jungle.
Vision 2020: Use our resources to benefit the many November 28, 2004
IN last week's column I focused on some infrastructural imperatives that the population expects the Government to act on today, not in or by the year 2020.
Vision 2020: all talk, little action November 21, 2004
LONG-TERM social and economic planning, which was all but abandoned by the late Dr Eric Williams many decades ago, has returned under the Patrick Manning government in the form of "Vision 2020".
Arafat, large in life, larger in death November 14, 2004
AS I watched a piece of history being laid to rest on BBC television on Friday morning, the funeral of Yasser Arafat, I wondered how many people understood the significance of the moment.
Fear, The Deciding Factor November 07, 2004
THROUGHOUT history, leaders, from warlords and emperors of ancient times, through monarchs, dictators and democratically elected presidents and prime ministers in modern times, have preyed and played on people's fears.
Mortgaging food security October 31, 2004
SENATOR Parvatee Anmolsingh-Mahabir may not be the best-known parliamentarian in the country. She's an independent who one may occasionally read about if media houses deign to carry snippets of her contribution to some debate. She may not want to hog the limelight the way some of her colleagues in the Upper House do.
Bushmen who rule the world October 24, 2004
THERE was a time when, in criticising successive US governments' foreign policies, I made a clear distinction between the American people and their government and its various agencies. Now I am not so sure there is a clear demarcation between the two.
Inequality breeds unfairness October 10, 2004
THERE are those who argue that racism in Trinidad and Tobago exists only in the devious minds of politicians and among a handful of individuals and organisations that would otherwise remain buried in obscurity but for their maniacal ranting.
The super rich vs the wretched September 26, 2004
FOR many people, more so those who believe that unfettered-capitalism is the way forward for the world, the latest listing of billionaires (millionaires excluded, and we speak here in US dollars) by the authoritative Forbes business magazine will serve as proof of their creed.
Deliver us from political evil September 19, 2004
IT may well be that our penchant as a people for revelling in rumours, for turning fiction-into-fact, were behind the kilos of tripe that the sober in the society have been subjected to over the past few weeks.
Ivan's wrath and global warming September 12, 2004
SOME men, more so older men who know they do not have much time left on this here earth, tend to think alike, to peer into the future dispassionately.
Dumbing-down dangers September 05, 2004
WHEN the UNC Government introduced universal secondary education during its tenure in office, many parents across the nation applauded the move.
Devalued awards in a depressing country August 29, 2004
WITH days to go before we mark the 42nd anniversary of this country's independence, one needs to ask what there is to celebrate? Oh, there is much we can be thankful for, many of them mercies from on high for which less-than-ordinary men claim credit.
If you don't laugh, you'll cry for T&T August 22, 2004
IN order to maintain my sanity amidst the lunacy that seems to have gripped this prosperous-but-floundering nation, I shall make light of Commander-in-Chief Max Richards's bold move to put the forces under his control on "a war footing".
Govt, cops 'running and hiding' August 15, 2004
NATIONAL Security Minister Martin Joseph must be told that if anyone is seen to be "running and hiding" from the spate of dastardly crimes that gets worse on a daily basis, it is the Government, not the criminals.
Please, not another war over oil August 08, 2004
The latest country to come under UN (read US) scrutiny, Sudan. Sudan is the largest country in Africa. It is not the poorest, but because of its size, composition of population, and range of climatic conditions (from arid deserts to tropical jungle), it has always been a country in crisis. It is also the oldest black civilisation in sub-Sahara.
From foreign-used cars to foreign-used kidneys August 01, 2004
BACK in 1983, when I visited India as a journalist covering the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting, a story in the local newspapers that attracted my attention was one about poor Indians who would queue up at hospitals and blood banks daily across the country to sell their blood. It was thriving trade.
We must win this war July 25, 2004
LAST week when I heard about the maxi-taxi bandit who whipped out a gun, shot an uniformed policeman at point-blank range, and proceeded to rob what must have been mortified passengers, I thought we had finally arrived at the point where the psychopaths were coming out of the closet.
Grab the 'brown package' and run with it July 18, 2004
IT was the late lyrical and musical genius of a calypsonian, Maestro, who sang of Trinidadians, "Allyuh 'entknow what allyuh want." The bard, who was tragically killed in an accident when he was in full bloom, sang about people condemning the then PNM government but not wanting the DLP, of attacking capitalism but shunning communism, and so on.
Who the cap fits July 11, 2004
Since the television clip of Prime Minister Patrick Manning defending his wife as Education Minister was shown repeatedly all of last week, I couldn't help but hear and see the PM captured on camera casting innuendoes at a previous, unnamed Education Minister.
We can fight crime without bills July 04, 2004
IT'S difficult to understand Prime Minister Patrick Manning's rationale behind his government's $2 million advertising blitz in support of the now-rejected Police Reform Bills.
Alternative energy sources our only hope June 27, 2004
The tragedy of our energy policies in the past is that they misled us into believing that we could live comfortably off revenues from crude oil and bunker fuel.
Braying jackasses, oil gluttons June 20, 2004
THE raging row between a government that's insisting on having the police reform bills passed in Parliament, and the opposition that's refusing to entertain them on grounds that the bills will usher in a "police state", has sunk to a gutter-level that makes it impossible for any sober citizen to intervene.
We are part of the problem June 13, 2004
A MAJOR obstacle to us, as a society, dealing with the crime spiral lies in our culture. We want to eat our cake and have it, too. We have grown accustomed to living in a laid-back society in which many, if not most, of us routinely break the law, however small our infractions may be.
Panic response no way to confront crime June 06, 2004
HAVING dealt with several critical elements that contribute to the escalation of crime and the shady characters who fuel this hellish fire from behind their cloaks of respectability, let me now turn to the panic response of most citizens and their demands that Government and the police act decisively on crime or step aside.
Time to touch the untouchables May 30, 2004
AT long last Prime Minister Patrick Manning decided to reveal that the Government has acquired sophisticated electronic detection equipment for use in its fight against crime.
Get real, get drastic May 23, 2004
UNLESS and until the Government and its law enforcement agencies can seize the massive number illegal of guns that are in the hands of criminals and would-be criminals, then we shall remain a country mired in the abyss of crime. The authorities will also need to stop the flow of more guns into the country.
Military times: real 'morons' in White House May 16, 2004
LAST Sunday I argued that what has now come out in the open, those photographs of prisoner-abuse at Abu Ghraib, was not the exception.
No apologies needed: it's the American way May 09, 2004
LAST week I indicated that I intended to conclude my discourse on Nelson Mandela's visit to this country in today's column.
Mandelites-come-lately May 01, 2004
THROUGHOUT history, whenever men have sought to oppose injustice, they have been exiled, jailed or even put to death.
Mook and a crook April 25, 2004
I DON'T know whether US ambassador Roy Austin is familiar with the Trini mollusc we natives call "mook".
Globalisation, highway to hell April 18, 2004
GLOBALISATION, the new buzz-word for free trade, not fair trade, will plunge the world into economic chaos never before seen in the history of mankind.
Blood and sand - one year later April 11, 2004
ONE year in today's global village that we call the world, what with communications being almost instant, seems almost like a nanosecond.
Manning must respond to Coudray charges April 04, 2004
IN July last year in England, a scientist named Dr David Kelly was found dead in a park in which he took his daily walk.
In the lions' dens March 28, 2004
OVER the past two weeks I made a deliberate decision to accept invitations from two Indian radio stations to appear on their evening talk shows.
Local instability pales before global 'meltdown' March 21, 2004
WHEN I think of the increasing prospects of an unstable world that could well be rend asunder before the biblical Armageddon through the unconscionable actions of demi-gods on both sides of the "terrorist" fence, I find it difficult even to muster disgust at Prime Minister Patrick Manning's puerile "sore throat" act, far less laugh at it.
Case for equity in salaries, perks March 14, 2004
THE industrial unrest that has erupted in just about every sector of the economy, but none so worrisome as that in the oil and gas industries, must be a source of grave concern to the Patrick Manning Government.
Squatters' rights, squatters' wrongs March 07, 2004
UNTIL two years ago I lived in an old wooden house that could be easily mistaken for a squatter's hut. In fact, I was a tenant of Caroni Ltd, paying an annual rent as I desperately sought to purchase the lot on which the shack stood.
Haiti: return to savagery February 29, 2004
WE look at Haiti degenerating into anarchy for the umpteenth time in its 200-year history as the world's first Black republic, and what do we see?
Mama Mia, the warring diva February 22, 2004
I MUST confess that I am running scared this Carnival. In fact, I am so frightened, I fear I might just mess my pants! I can assure readers I am not bothered by warring "Soca Divas" or the myriad male "jammers" to whom "melody" is the name of a deceased calypsonian, and lyrics the "bad buoy" chat you exchange before shooting at each other.
Of flying fish and crabs in a barrel February 15, 2004
THE latest "flying fish war" between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago is reflective of the Caribbean "crabs in a barrel" mentality that has characterised the region's politics for as far back as one cares to recall.
Sleaze in the 'fourth estate' February 08, 2004
SO you are a Canadian citizen or resident and, having worked hard to afford a few weeks vacation abroad, you log on to your government's travel advisory on the internet and come up with this: "Attacks on tourists have decreased, but violent crime remain a serious concern.
Recipe for Dystopia, not Utopia February 01, 2004
AS a newspaper columnist of 23 years' standing, I have passed through many stages in the way I put across my views to readers. In the 1980s I was very passionate in addressing local politics.
Democracy: dollars determine who wins January 25, 2004
BACK in 1970, in the aftermath of the Black Power revolution when dozens of political detainees were still imprisoned, Presbyterian minister Reverend Dr Roy Nehall described democracy in this country as 'five minutes spent in a polling booth once every five years.'
Democracy not for the depraved January 18, 2004
UPON reading my column last Sunday, many persons I know called to find out if I had gone "loco". How could I, someone who has been at the helm of the call for a more participatory form of democracy in the country, call for a the imposition of a malevolent dictator?
Wanted: One malevolent dictator January 11, 2004
FOR Prime Minister Patrick Manning and his PNM Government, the solutions to the many ills that bedevil this country lie in a nebulous "Vision 2020".
A nation gripped by paranoia January 04, 2004
WHEN an FBI agent, working under America's new Homeland Security laws, could grab an innocent BWIA pilot off a flight and say triumphantly, "We got him!" anyone with a modicum of sense and an understanding of history will realise that the world's sole superpower is in super trouble.