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Showing posts from December, 2011

A New Wave of Consciousness

April 2011 saw the release of a movie called Atlas Shrugged Part 1, based on a 1957 novel by the American science fiction writer Ayn Rand.  The author’s views on capitalism saw the movie being adopted by those in the American Tea Party movement.  Set in 2016, it shows a global society in a state of turmoil. 
The existing socio-political-economic framework is in a state of turmoil.  The year 2011 kicked off with the Arab spring sparked by rallies in Tunisia, but spread through to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco, Jordan, Syria and Libya.  Even nearby Israel saw 450 000 people marching over declining living standards.  Further north in Russia, anti-Putin dissidents took to the Moscow streets in the biggest protest in years.
Further east in China, there were calls on the internet for a “jasmine revolution”.  Corruption was at the top of the political agenda in India as thousands flocked to support campaigner Anna Hazare’s hunger strike, and India saw a slow-down in its growth forecasts by…

Life is about Relationships

In Trinidad and Tobago, at Christmas there is an energy that transforms our islands into an almost magical land.  I again find myself outside of Trinidad for Christmas, and so I miss this special brand of magic dearly.  Whether one is Christian or not, the end of December can also be a time of reflection.  Where has the year gone so quickly?  What is in store for us next year?  Normal questions indeed. For me this is a useful time to not just celebrate the spiritual significance of this holy season but to check whether I am where I believe I should be on my own spiritual journey.
It is so easy to get caught up in what my friend Marcus describes as the “day to day things”.  So caught up that it we forget that there is a God and we each exist to serve a purpose for which we have each been uniquely created.   Yet our “day to day” distractions ensnare us into chasing behind bigger cars, fancier homes, more expensive clothes, gadgets and the trappings of (what we perceive to be) power.  I…

Remembering Dr Cuthbert Joseph

I first met Dr Joseph in 2009 thanks to some mutual acquaintances.  It was around the time when the previous administration had issued for public comment, a document which proposed certain changes to our constitution.  There were also a series of public consultations on this most important of documents.  I was becoming dissatisfied with the level of public debate and as someone conscious about issues which would affect our children’s future, I decided to pay closer attention.  In so doing, Dr Joseph was among the learned minds I had the privilege of consulting.  When I can, I enjoy speaking with great minds on all sides of our political spectrum.
We were not related as he was originally from Siparia and my Joseph side of the family is originally from the hills of Belmont.  In the 1970’s, as a child in primary school, I do remember hearing his name as a Cabinet Minister and of course found it curious that we shared the same last name.  Back in mid-2009, what I thought would be a few b…

Bridging the Credibility Gap

Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Trinidad and Tobago in position 91 out of 183 countries – falling from a 2010 rank of 73.  Remember this is a temperature check of how corrupt we perceive our own public sector to be.  So if you are a statistician; walk away – it is not a rigorous quantitative research methodology.  If you are a politician, listen-up, as perception drives voting patterns.
On one hand, it can be argued that this cannot be completely blamed on the present administration because it reflects a consistent slide from 2001 when we were ranked at 31.  The counterargument however, is that the 2010-2011 decline in trust of our public institutions has to be placed at the feet of the present administration as it is no longer sufficient to point fingers at the previous regime and shout – “at least we are not as bad as them”. 
We need only look at the actual simple index score.  After a gentle climb in confidence in public sector institutio…