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Facebook and Twitter are turning my mind to mush

| 30/07/2010 | 5 Comments

(Christian Science Monitor): Facebook is turning my mind to mush and I don’t like it. The IQ drop is palpable, and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves. I’m no Internet critic. Nor am I some dude who’s nostalgic for the romantic bygone era of steam engines and Fatty Arbuckle … Therefore it’s with more than a little regret that I have come to realize that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any number of other catchily named applications and websites are taking my mind, the ripe fruit of the Wisconsin public school system, and spoiling it like an abandoned banana.

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The other offshore disaster

| 26/06/2010 | 6 Comments

(The New York Times): Canaries are small. Coal mines are big. Finding one in the other is never easy. There is little debate these days, though, that the implosion in the summer of 2007 of two Bear Stearns hedge funds — run by two bankers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin — was the first sign that significant trouble was brewing in the market for subprime-mortgage-related securities and for the Wall Street firms that manufactured and sold them.

… To understand one of the central reasons the hedge funds failed — aside from the obvious one that Cioffi and Tannin were terrible investors — it is necessary to take a trip to an island paradise: George Town on Grand Cayman Island …

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Related reading: The Offshore Director: Risks, Responsibilities and Liabilities by Tim Ridley

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Dudus is not the enemy of Jamaica

| 29/05/2010 | 0 Comments

On the face of it, the (recent deaths in Kingston) are due to defiant citizens rising up against initiatives by the security forces, on orders of the government, to detain Christopher "Dudus" Coke to answer US extradition charges. The spread of the killings and mayhem has been blamed on various factors, including payments to opposing gangsters and opportunism by local criminals. At the time of writing, Coke had not been captured. ….For the sake of whatever future Jamaicans must face when this crisis passes, continued analysis of these sad, tragic developments is vital. And the most obvious truth emanating from the Dudus saga….is that Dudus in not the real enemy of which Jamaicans should be wary.

Dudus is a fall guy and the media hype surrounding his story is a smokescreen.

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High cost of protection is eroding legal bastion

| 01/04/2010 | 5 Comments

(Times Online): Jury-less criminal trials have sparked controversy in the legal profession, pitting prosecutors against defence lawyers. The Criminal Justice Act 2003, which made them possible, was introduced amid concerns over jury nobbling. David Blunkett, who was Home Secretary, said that in London alone £9 million was being spent every year on surveillance of jurors.

People who tried to intimidate jurors did so for one reason, he said — “because they think that those in front of the judge and jury will be convicted”. So the Act allows for trial without jury if there is “evidence of a real and present danger” of tampering. The growth of organised crime has made interference with juries an increasingly serious threat to justice.

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Jamaican athletes and Carifta visas

| 25/03/2010 | 22 Comments

(Jamaica Gleaner): The unifying influence of sport cannot be overlooked nor can the overall discipline which it breathes into the life of athletes and their affiliates. This explains why the next two weekends will be glorious ones for Caribbean athletes and their adoring fans. First, the local Boys and Girls’ Championship marks a century of competition at the National Stadium and next weekend, the Carifta Games will be staged in the Cayman Islands.

The Carifta Games began in 1972 among English-speaking countries to mark the transition from the Caribbean Free Trade Association (Carifta) to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It was later expanded to include French- and Dutch-speaking countries.

Amid all the intrigue and excitement that these games promise, I felt very distressed when I visited the Carifta Games website and learnt that of the 25 countries slated to participate, Jamaica and Haiti are the only two requiring visas for entry into the Cayman Islands.

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Take a 13% pay cut

| 22/03/2010 | 16 Comments

(Times Online): Good morning. Here is the news. Because of the budget deficit, shrinking economy and untenable level of national debt, all public service salaries will be cut by an average of 13.5 per cent, withimmediate effect. The charges will appear on your payslip as “government levy”, and will apply to frontline public workers in health, education, transport and local services and also to MPs, Ministers of State and the Attorney-General.

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Not while racism exists

| 10/03/2010 | 87 Comments

(The Guardian): Standing at a hotel bar in Freetown, Sierra Leone, a few years ago with an unreconstructed Afrikaner and a white Briton whose racial politics I trusted even less, I was approached by a local, black hustler who put his arm around my shoulder, smiled and asked: "How’s my nigger?"

I turned swiftly, pointed my finger in his face and said: "Don’t you ever ever, call me that again." He walked away looking both baffled and upset and leaving me feeling both conflicted and annoyed.

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Sea Turtle Tastes Like Veal

| 10/03/2010 | 3 Comments

( If sea turtle tasted like chicken, I’d fess up, but it really does taste like veal. I grew up occasionally eating mud turtles pulled out of the ponds on my family’s farm. And mud turtle does taste like chicken. (Legs from freshly butchered mud turtles also writhe when you toss a bit of salt on them, as my startled mother once found out.)

So I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how delicious well-prepared green sea turtle steak tasted with a port wine reduction sauce at the Over the Edge restaurant during a recent visit to Grand Cayman Island.

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Shades of prejudice

| 20/01/2010 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): Last week, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, found himself in trouble for once suggesting that Barack Obama had a political edge over other African-American candidates because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Mr. Reid was not expressing sadness but a gleeful opportunism that Americans were still judging one another by the color of their skin, rather than — as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy we commemorated on Monday, dreamed — by the content of their character.

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Banning the burqa unveils some nasty traits in us

| 11/01/2010 | 0 Comments

France is considering passing a law that would mean women who wear the burqa or niqab in public would face a £700 fine. French MPs will vote on the proposal later this month; the fine would apply to anyone “whose face is fully covered in public”. Jean-François Copé, parliamentary leader of Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP group, told Le Figaro that the proposed law was based on sexual equality and public safety considerations, not on religious ones. “We spoke to religious and secular figures, who all confirmed [the burqa] was not a religious prescription. Wearing the full body veil is about extremists who want to test the republic,” he said.

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