Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stop the carnival

"People develop a country, not industrial plants, overhead railways or palaces. And Trinidad and Tobago's people are beginning to understand that they have been let down by every post-independence government. Their political parties are discredited or untested. I keep wondering, where will they turn now?"

jeremy taylor: Stop the carnival

Tobago, 1st Jan 2007

Cheesy perhaps, but true for me today

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson
about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two
’wolves’ inside us all”.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and
faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his
grandfather: “Which wolf wins?"

The grandfather replies: “The one you feed”.

Arundhati Roy in 2003

"the disparity between the rich and poor grows, the fight to corner resources is intensifying. To push through their 'sweetheart deals,' to corporatize the crops we grow, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the dreams we dream, coporate globalisation needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies.

Coporate Globalisation – or shall we call it by its name? Imperialism – needs a press that pretends to be free. it needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.

Meanwhile, the countries of the North harden their corders and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. After all they have to make sure that it's only money, goods, patents and services that are globalised. Not the free movement of people. Not a respect for human rights. Not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons or greenhouse gas emissions or climate change, or – God forbid – justice. So this, all this, is 'empire.' this loyal confederation, this obscene acumulation of power, this greatly increased distance between those who make the decisions and those who have to suffer them."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Scientists ‘pressured’ to play down climate risk

"TWO private advocacy groups told a US congressional hearing yesterday that climate scientists at seven government agencies say they have been subjected to political pressure aimed at playing down the threat of global warming."

more

Making money kills people

"Novartis filed an appeal in Madras, India, against a decision to prevent it from patenting a new version of leukemia drug Gleevac, whose patent expired.

If the company wins its case, Indian companies could be banned from making generic versions of the drug, sold around the world for about 1-10th of the $2,600 price for a month`s supply Novartis charges, The International Herald Tribune reported.

'Novartis is trying to shut down the pharmacy of the developing world,' Doctors Without Borders` Campaign for Access to Essential Medicine Medical Director Unni Karunakara said at a New Delhi news conference.

'Indian drugs form the backbone of our AIDS programs in which 80,000 people in over 30 counties receive treatment,' he said. 'Over 80 percent of the medicines we use to treat AIDS come from India.'

Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam International have collected nearly 250,000 signatures on a petition asking Novartis to drop the case.

A 2005 Indian patent law lets patents be granted on new versions of older drugs whose patents have expired if the new version can be shown to represent a significant improvement on the original."

more

Racism, Class Inequality, and the Politics of Recognition

"The 'cunning of recognition', as Elizabeth Povinelli describes this maneuver of power, does not refuse to recognize past atrocities committed by the liberal state, but acknowledges the horror of these actions--e.g., slavery, genocide, segregation, and apartheid--in order to secure and reinvigorate the future of the liberal nation-state and its core values (Povinelli 2002: 29). In short, liberal forms of multi-culturalism use national rituals of apology for the past mistreatment of subordinated and oppressed members of society not to transfer power or to change society but to re-create the national form.

Racial reforms--from attempts at reconciliation in Australia, to civil rights in the US, to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa--function as narratives of national redemption, maintaining (and sometimes inventing) racial cleavages along the way (see Dominguez 1994). What surprise, then, that 'racial reform' has overlapped--if not conspired--with neo-conservative assaults on the welfare state that have gutted the very institutions that were supposed to remedy these inequalities (Baca 2004; see Prashad in this issue). Such co-existence of racial reform with the deepening of racial and class inequality is not as anomalous as some commentators suggest (e.g., Holt 2000: 5-7). Instead, the manner in which racial reforms complement racializing discourse illustrates the politics of nationalism, which requires that we theorize the relationship between the racist content of neo-liberal reforms and the rise of multi-culturalism (Baca 2003)."

more

Platini

"The French midfielder has never strayed too far from my thoughts where football is concerned, because he was the most beautiful player I ever saw in the flesh; yes, more beautiful even than Johan Cruyff, Zin├ędine Zidane or George Best. And although beauty may not save the world, it certainly makes life worth living."

more

Monday, January 29, 2007

tick tock tick tock

Mr Bush, in an interview with National Public Radio, said yesterday: "If Iran escalates its military action in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and/or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly."

more

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ishmael



saw it on sweetrastachild

have you ever read ishmael?

Brass festival goes dancehall

changing times

"Brass Festival, as it is traditionally known has been expanded in the 2007 edition to make room for Jamaican dancehall stars Richie Spice and Elephant Man. The latter is due to perform with double Road March winner and reigning Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester with whom he has released a special track for the Carnival period. Winchester and his band Traffik will also deliver a full-length concert set at the fete which is this year celebrating, its eighteenth anniversary."

read more

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jacques Mayol

"A French national born in Shanghais China in 1927, Jacques Mayol was known as the ‘Dolphin Man’ due to his underwater exploits in the field of free diving along with the special relationships he developed with dolphins.

Mayol’s fascination with the sea arose from a close friendship with a dolphin named Clown at the Seaquarium in Miami, Florida, where he was sent from Radio Canada as a journalist to both research an article and produce an audio piece. The director of Programs and Events at the Seaquarium invited him to stay. Mayol accepted and began working on the maintenance of the tanks and the dietary concerns of the various marine creatures. At the same time, he was also given permission to dive in the big tank with all of the dolphins including one destined to become his special friend, Clown.

Clown taught Mayol how to hold his breath longer on every dive, how to behave underwater, and how to integrate himself with the water totally and finally, how to laugh inside. Thanks to these lessons, he also integrated the powers of Yoga and Oriental philosophies with his dive skills, disciplines he first became aware of while growing up in Japan. This emotional and psychological discipline opened the path that led to his record setting 100 meter dive."

read more

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trinidad: Four killed to stop cops from testifying

"The cold-blooded murders of Woman Police Constable Elizabeth Sutherland, her husband Ivan and daughter Anika was a warning to all police officers involved in various matters against a known gang leader and his relatives.

Police sources said yesterday that the execution of the Sutherlands and family friend Kevin Serrette on Monday night was a message to officers who had testified in matters against the gang: "Testify against us and die."

read more

Does Bush even care?

"The war's costs to our nation have been staggering," he said. "Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism, and especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve."

Then Mr Webb went for the jugular, calling on Mr Bush to embark on a new programme of diplomacy to try to bring the war to an end. "The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military," he said. "We need a new direction."

read more

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Put him on the stand!

Maybe its more bacchanal for many, but for me i think its well passed time that Prime Minister Manning was cross-examined in court. He rules with little scrutiny and is able to destroy characters with little evidence that stands by itself. Manning's decision to impeach Sharma was murky to say the least. I doubt his appearance in court will change much, Manning already has too much power, however it will make his dirty laundry more public. booo to manning. he smells.

read about the issue here

Liverpool beat Chelsea!

Oh yeah!

Read better

"I have tried to make a case for the special role of writer-critics, as it is in my interest to do. There is a suspicion that writers who become critics retain too much of the sentiment and mysticism of their craft to be capable of real critical thought - maybe I am evidence of that. But Roland Barthes is a good exception to that rule; he had both a sensuous understanding of the creative artist and an unimpeachable critical skill. Most of all, he understood that the critic's job is a non-cynical truth-seeking exercise, deeply connected to the critic's own beliefs, values and failures. "Each critic," he says, "chooses his necessary language, in accordance with a certain existential pattern, as the means of exercising an intellectual function which is his, and his alone ... he puts into the operation his 'deepest self', that is, his preferences, pleasures, resistances, and obsessions."

read more

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Borat at the golden globes

"This movie was a life-changing experience," Cohen said. "I saw some amazing, beautiful, invigorating parts of America, but I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America, a side of America that rarely sees the light of day. I refer of course to the anus and testicles of my co-star, Ken Davitian."

The fat one sat at his table watching the skinny one and swigging from a bottle of wine. "Ken, when I was in that scene and I stared down and saw your two wrinkled golden globes on my chin, I thought to myself, 'I'd better win a bloody award for this'."

read more

Monday, January 15, 2007

Walking

Ian Smart on Slavery

"William's work shows that the British moved early in the nineteenth century to abolish first the slave trade and then the hateful institution itself not for humanitarian considerations but purely for economic reasons. The British mercantile capitalists, who had generated immense wealth through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the triangular trade, and the plantation economy, had fallen from grace at home. The new power brokers were the capitalists who controlled the Indian subcontinent. There was no need for slavery in that region of the globe, where dirt cheap and very expendable 'free' labour abounded."

from 'Willie Lynch to the World Trade Center'

Sunday, January 14, 2007

MIT Open course ware

Lecture notes, reading lists, discussion aids - MIT has put loads of their courses online. The resource is phenomenal. use or just peruse. Well worth a visit.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fail better

Throughly interesting piece by Zadie Smith (ex-Hampstead girl too) on failing to write

"Map of disappointments - Nabokov would call that a good title for a bad novel. It strikes me as a suitable guide to the land where writers live, a country I imagine as mostly beach, with hopeful writers standing on the shoreline while their perfect novels pile up, over on the opposite coast, out of reach. Thrusting out of the shoreline are hundreds of piers, or "disappointed bridges", as Joyce called them. Most writers, most of the time, get wet. Why they get wet is of little interest to critics or readers, who can only judge the soggy novel in front of them. But for the people who write novels, what it takes to walk the pier and get to the other side is, to say the least, a matter of some importance. To writers, writing well is not simply a matter of skill, but a question of character. What does it take, after all, to write well? What personal qualities does it require? What personal resources does a bad writer lack? In most areas of human endeavour we are not shy of making these connections between personality and capacity. Why do we never talk about these things when we talk about books?"

read more

she loves me, she loves me not

here we go again

New years resolution:

hmmm, still thinking,

but more sun, friends and family in my life seems like a good one.

Lets start this blogging thing over again...