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Showing posts from July, 2012

A Summer to Remember

We are already in the middle of what is turning out to be quite a memorable summer.  The highlight will probably be the Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, here in London, from July 27th to August 12th.  August will also mark the fiftieth anniversary of independence for both Jamaica (August 6) and Trinidad and Tobago (August 31) from the UK.  Although Trinidad and Tobago is not the land of my birth, it is a place I do consider a home so this is a most auspicious time.
I am writing this before the Olympic Opening Ceremony which is to be watched by as many as a billion viewers.  To be honest, I made no real effort to get tickets as I prefer to enjoy the games from the comfort of our own home.  The media coverage of the security measures has also put me off in two ways.
Firstly, there is the scale of the military buildup.  We are witnessing the biggest military deployment on British soil since the second world war.  From what I understand, there are around 20 00…

A Harmful Religion

Religion is a sensitive subject – perhaps among the most sensitive of topics.  In the U.S. today, the main contender to President Obama in this November’s Presidential election is Willard Mitt Romney who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – so he is a Mormon.  Mormons believe that an angel named Moroni left some gold tablets in upstate New York and that these tablets were discovered by a man named Joseph Smith.  From these tablets, Joseph Smith "translated" the Book of Mormon, which is the foundation upon which Mormonism is built.  In Mormonism, black people were not allowed to attain the priesthood until 1978 and to this day, women are still not allowed. 
Another religion in the news recently, thanks to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, is Scientology.  The Church of Scientology was created by L Ron Hubbard (Elron) in 1952.  I became curious about the Church after watching their movie – Battlefield Earth staring another popular Scientologist, John Trav…

Remembering Richard Joseph

On July 2nd I was making my way home in the afternoon and as usual, I decided to check Facebook on my phone.  That was when I saw a Facebook message from a member of my old running group with terrible news.  Thinking that an honest mistake was made, I decided to email Mark Bishop and Nestor Lambert from the St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union.  I was blown away when I received confirmation that Richard Andre Joseph, born November 30, 1952, had passed away on Sunday, July 1, 2012.  He would have been only 60 this year.
I returned to Trinidad in 2007 and decided to get involved with the St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union so I joined the Management Committee which Richard Joseph (no relation to me) then Chaired.  He served as President of the Union from 2005 to 2008.  I was vaguely familiar with him through my mother who worked with him in the past, but over time I got to know him and his family quite well.  In 2009, I got involved with the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institut…

Our Interconnectedness

Years ago when I was at the University of Aberdeen, I remember chatting with one of my Professors about ‘globalization’.  I was trying to make the point that in our modern world, our economies and societies are so incredibly interconnected.  He responded in his typically aloof way, and asked me what exactly I meant by ‘globalization’.  His view was and probably still is, that so-called ‘globalization’ always existed in that more and more research is proving that there was always trade among nations and there was always some movement of people among countries.  So perhaps he is right to ask somewhat rhetorically – what is so different about our situation today?   
I could be wrong but my argument is that the level of social and economic interconnectedness is far greater now than at any time in recorded history.  In terms of the movement of people, I remember reading that about three million people travel by air every day and much of that air traffic is international - not to mention lan…