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Showing posts from August, 2012

Protecting Our Farmers

When we lived in Trinidad between 2007 and 2011, one of our favourite things was visiting the NAMDEVCO farmer’s market at the bottom of St Lucian Road every other Saturday morning.  We had our favourite stall, from which we would get most of our fruits and vegetables.  The stall was run by a couple and their two teenage sons who actually farmed in Caura Valley.  One thing is that they were and probably still are, passionate about farming.  Their customer service was always exemplary and it was a pleasure buying from them.  We got so close that my wife and her actually exchanged numbers to keep in touch.  
One Saturday however, they explained that they were robbed – the victims of praedial larceny.  They arrived at their garden one morning to find almost everything gone.  Their entire crop was stolen by someone cruel enough to destroy the seedlings as they carelessly trampled over them as they carried off their loot.  To say that the family was devastated is an understatement.  Months…

More Inconvenient Truths

After the recent heavy rains and flooding, I have been thinking about weather patterns and the extent to which they are an ‘act of God’ vs. an ‘act of man’.  Back in December 2009, I wrote an opinion piece called “Rethinking Inconvenient Truths” in which I challenged the global warming paradigm (which has interestingly been rebranded as climate change).  At the time, I was intrigued by the debate stimulated by the theft/leaking (depending on who you believe) of over 1,000 e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. These e-mails detail exchanges with researchers/scientists globally, and cast serious aspersions on the validity of “global warming” theories.
I had skimmed many of the e-mail exchanges which are still freely available on-line, and my concerns were twofold.  Firstly, there was the apparent fudging of the computer models which drive climate change analysis (check out wattsupwiththat.com).  It appears as if the researcher/programmer wanted to ens…

Bitter-Sweet Saturday

Saturday 11th August will forever be a day filled with bittersweet memories for me and perhaps for so many of us. From around midday here in the UK, I began to see messages and pictures on Facebook showing the devastation suffered by residents of Diego Martin, Maraval and Santa Cruz in the aftermath of massive flooding. Some of the images that were seared into my psyche include that of the baby’s room where the watermark was nearly half way up the wall. There was the image of the refrigerator trying to float out of the kitchen and of course cars being pushed around like toys. 

My heart goes out to the many victims of this tragedy who lost irreplaceable material possessions as well as those who lost their loved ones. In the midst of such massive infrastructural damage, I thanked God that more lives were not lost. I spent a moment thinking of those whose livelihood was now at risk, such as the taxi driver whose car was written off. I also spent time thinking of the children who lost thei…

She did more than misspeak

Three incidents happened recently to catch my attention.  Firstly there was Basdeo Panday’s remarks at Kelvin Ramnath’s funeral, which took place a few weeks ago at the Arunodai Presbyterian Church, in Balmain, Couva.  His remarks were described as distasteful, overly critical and inappropriate by some.  Others thought he was being honest and pointing out the hypocrisy of others.  Secondly there was the much circulated address by Her Excellency Ambassador Therese Baptiste-Cornelis on Cultural Diversity at the Fourth Area of Sustainable Development; which some considered unprofessional and somewhat ludicrous.  Others thought she was just being herself – a straightforward, down to earth person.  Thirdly, U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently visited London and delivered a major foreign policy speech where he expressed skepticism of Britain’s preparation for the Summer Olympics which some considered inappropriate and ill informed.  Others thought it was an honest assessment b…

It’s all about the Economy

Those who know me well know that I am opinionated and can be very straightforward.  To be honest, it sometimes works against me as I often forget that diplomacy may ask us to cleverly conceal views.  Nevertheless, I accept that it is among my flaws – it is part of who I am.  Especially since, at the end of this mortal life we may be called upon to explain the moments when we stood up for what we believed as well as the moments when we defied our conscience and remained silent.   Two events are on my mind as I write this.
Firstly, there is the attempted coup that happened back when I was just 17 years old in 1990.  July 27th 2012 quietly came and went.  The Commission of Enquiry into the events of 1990 still continues.  Twenty two years ago was perhaps the darkest moment in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. I pray that at the end of this process we would be closer to understanding what exactly motivated this attempted coup as well as bring to justice all those responsible.  My definit…