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Showing posts from November, 2011

Big Fish and Small Fish

Britain’s Channel 4 aired a documentary called Trinidad: Guns, Drugs and Secrets.  On the night in question, I deliberately avoided watching it.  The following day, as I signed onto Facebook, I saw links to it on so many profiles that I ended up watching the whole thing – twice. 
The two interviews that I found most interesting were the one with the resident from Laventille and the one with the Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.  For me, these two represented the opposing sides of this ongoing debate over the State of Emergency (SoE) and the current government’s approach to crime.
On one hand, the Laventille resident was adamant that the SoE was implemented too superficially to make any lasting impact.  Specifically, only “small fish” were being detained and as one was taken off the street, another took his place.  He was critical of the silence over the role of the “big fish” that oversee the drug trade and walk around with a false air of respectability in the wider society.  A…

freedom to speak my mind without fear or favour

Of all the topics on which I write; never do I receive passionate feedback as when I write about politics.  Needless to say, I always enjoy receiving feedback but there is something about politics that attracts Trolls in particular.  As described a few weeks back, Trolls is the term used to describe those who lack the will or courage to use their real names and instead hide behind pseudonyms in giving feedback.
So often I often wonder what it is about politics that engenders such emotion in us.  A comment on the Guardian website to my article on Trolls by someone calling himself / herself “Food for thought” suggested that I “undoubtedly enjoy certain freedoms and protection as a journalist”.  As a columnist (not a journalist) who also participates in other online forums using my real name, I enjoy no special privileges.  When I first started writing more publicly, the feedback I received from those who know me is respect for the courage that it takes to personally stand by ones posit…

Prophets and Predictions

So a political appointee recently predicted that the PNM will never return to power in Trinidad and Tobago.  Predicting the future is apparently big business.  Today I will try my hand at predicting the future.  Hopefully those who read my predictions will not be as disappointed as those who expected the rapture in October 2011.  Among those disappointed people are those that follow Harold Camping – the American pastor who predicted October 21st 2011 as the day the world was to come to an end.  Obviously his prediction failed – for at least the third time.  Over the years, followers have donated millions of dollars, given up jobs etc as they prepared for the rapture.
Then there are those who have been predicting global economic collapse.  Gerald Celente and many others have been quite active online predicting the collapse of the American dollar and the Euro.  The number of websites offering suggestions on how best to prepare for economic collapse is mushrooming.  One interesting site…

Opening Doors

The highlight of the week for those involved in the travel and tourism industry was the annual World Travel Market (WTM) here in London.  I was at WTM for one day to attend seminars on travel technology and to better understand trends in the European market.  In the early afternoon however, I escaped for about an hour, to look for some familiar faces at the Trinidad and Tobago booth.
I felt proud to see that as usual, the T&T booth was a strong contender for best destination booth.  I am sure that the Tourism Development Company (TDC) will upload some pictures onto their website in time – so do take a look.  Present were Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke and Anya Ayoung Chee.  The presence of these three celebrities, together with the food and soft drinks made all passersby feel welcome. 
When tourism decision makers slip up, we are quick to call for blood.  I believe that it is only fair that when they do something good, it should be acknowledged.  Congratulations to the team behind the …

Use your Real Name

I count myself among those that spend many hours on-line every day.  The political groups that I follow include those of all the main local political parties.  My membership does not mean that I am blindly loyal to any one particular political party.  Simply put, I respect and I enjoy understanding, varying points of view.
The concept of being able to dispassionately engage in idea exchanges is familiar to some but strange to others.  To help create an environment better suited to idea exchanges, one of the more forward thinking groups last week decided to update its policy.  A message from the moderator noted that “After a barrage of attacks and libelous posts, we will not allow any aliases in posting messages to our groups. Use your name.  It is unfair to others for you to hide behind aliases. If you can't use your name then your opinion is not worth anything.”
His message went on to say that “If you may be wondering why one or more of your posts are not published, it could be …