Public Defenders Riding Commercial Motorbikes?

first_imgWith the massive expenditure incurred by the Judicial Branch of Government to purchase luxury vehicles for Supreme Court Justices and Judges of subordinate courts, public defense lawyers in contrast are seen commuting on commercial motorbikes to get to their respective courts of assignment, especially those who have agreed to represent poor people in the leeward counties.Elijah Forkeyah, president of the National Association of Public Defenders of Liberia (NAPDL) made the assertion last Friday in the crowded Banquet Hall, at the Temple of Justice where Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and foreign dignitaries were attending the association’s induction ceremony.“A vehicle is a necessity. We need it to be effective in the performance of our duties,” said Forkeyah.Public Defenders were performing their duties and responsibilities under difficult circumstances to the extent that some of their colleagues commute on commercial motorbikes to get to their respective places of assignments or to go to courts in their circuit or at magisterial courts, Forkeyah declared.The Public Defense Program established in 2009 by the Supreme Court is to make available free legal aid services to poor people accused of criminal offenses, but are unable to secure a lawyer to represent them during their trial.Prior to Forkeyah’s statement, Chief Justice Korkpor, while administrating the oath of office to NAPDL’s officials, sternly warned those lawyers not to charge fees to represent a client because they are being paid by the government.“It is utterly wrong for you public defenders to charge fees for representing persons being charged with criminal offenses or expect some reward for representing them,” Korkpor charged.He said public defenders are full time employees just like judges and other judicial staff. It is conflict of interest for them to use their time on duty for other gainful activities, adding, “This program is intended to benefit the poor and vulnerable people in society who cannot afford the astronomical costs of lawsuits.”Surprisingly, after the Chief Justice’s warning and clarification on the program, President Forkeyah again explained to the gathering that they are performing under extreme conditions.“These situations are not only demeaning, but place prosecution far above the public defense and create a situation where the public defenders are seen by the public as second class government lawyers.Despite numerous challenges confronting the program, the NADPL President assured the gathering that their passion to serve the least in society, the downtrodden, less privileged and financially deprived people cannot be over-emphasized.He added that they have dedicated their time, energy, efforts and entire self to a sincere legal representation of poor people to the best of their abilities.”In praise of his colleagues, Forkeyah said, “regardless of our material and financial limitations, we are making significant strides to improve the justice system and promote access to justice.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police to beef up security for holiday season

first_img– as overall robberies increase 15% while robbery with violence surges 54%By Shemuel FanfairAgainst the backdrop of a 15 per cent overall increase in robberies with a 54 per cent uptick in robberies with violence, coupled with other criminal activities, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has announced several measures to beef up security during this year’s Christmas season.A Division Commander Marlon ChapmanSome of the measures include vehicle, foot and bicycle patrols; road blocks; “riverine postures” and parking arrangements to reduce traffic congestion. These security initiatives were announced at a press conference at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, on Monday.The plans have already taken effect as Guyanese prepare for the annual traditions associated with the Christmas season where shopping late hours is expected. Special focus on implementing the measures will be placed in the capital city, Georgetown, where the majority of the country’s serious crimes is recorded. A Division (Georgetown and East Bank Demerara) Commander Marlon Chapman said that Police presence would be beefed up around several strategic areas, which include the seawall, Stabroek Market, banks, restaurants, and nightclubs.Chapman added that the security presence would be increased at the Georgetown Prison; Dennis Street, Sophia, Robb and Regent Streets, Vlissengen Road, Homestretch Avenue and the East Bank Demerara Highway, with special focus on the Demerara Harbour Bridge. He added that the GPF would collaborate with the business community, entertainers, the City Constabulary and community policing groups, all with the aim of tackling increased criminal activity.Table showing comparative crime statistics for October 2016-2017Traffic Chief Dion Moore noted that the security measures commenced Monday morning and would continue up to January 15, 2018. It was related that in A Division, there will be security and traffic arrangements to facilitate commuters for late-night shopping on Christmas Eve Day and for the Old Year’s Night celebrations.Increase in robberiesPolice preliminary statistics presented by acting Crime Chief Paul Williams, during the press conference, revealed that in all Divisions (A-G), there was a 15 per cent increase in overall robberies, but a 17 per cent decrease in robbery under arms. These numbers were for the period January-October 2017 over the comparative period for 2016. The year-by-year comparison showed that robbery with violence surged 54 per cent (79 cases in 2016; 122 in 2017) and a similar uptick in robbery with aggravation at 38 per cent (52 cases vs 72 cases).Notably, the number of murders recorded decreased 21 per cent, and recorded rape cases also decreased by nine per cent (218 vs 198). Although break and enter cases decreased by 15 per cent to 906 cases; larceny from the person surged 14 per cent. There were no authentic reports of kidnapping as both 2016 and 2017 showed zero cases. According to the acting Crime Chief’s overall numbers, serious crime decreased by nine per cent with 2768 cases in 2016 vs 2525 cases in 2017 for the period January-October.last_img read more

Kakamega through, St. Antony’s eliminated

first_imgThe result sent the pitch into frenzy with Kakamega fans who had thronged the [itch breaking into song and dance, bellowing Isikuti tunes to celebrate the conquest while some, to calm their nerves that were almost bursting from pressure.The Green Commandos will now meet Central Region’s Olbolosat who shocked pre-tournament favorites St. Anthony’s Boys Kitale with a 2-0 result in the other semi-final match.“I am very happy that we have won today. It was tough and I expected it to be that way because no team qualifies to the semis to lose easily. The other side St. Anthony’s has been eliminated and we all saw what they did to us yesterday. It has followed them there and they are out,” Kakamega High School head coach Brendan Mwinamo said.Kakamega High School fans carry their goalkeeper Brian Opondo shoulder high after they won their penalty shoot out against Dagoretti High School during their National Secondary School Ball Games semi-final tie at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 27, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluLast year, Kakamega failed to reach the final after losing to eventual champions Upper Hill High School in the semis.On penalties, it was a high pressure affair. Simon Omondi stepped up forst for Dagoretti scoring his kick though Kakamega keeper Brian Opondo had a touch on the ball. The Nairobi region were handed a massive advantage when Boniface Ooko struck the upright for Kakamega.However, they could not ride with the luck as skipper James Peter sent his effort wide despite sending the keeper the wrong way.Handed a new lease of life, Kakamega embraced the second chance they had and scored their next two through Evans Odhiambo and Joshua Otieno who struck brilliant kicks.For  Dagoretti, Shabaan Machozi scored but his teammate Joshua Onyango took a disastrous weak kick which was easily saved by Kakamega keeper Opondo. Henry Atola took Kakamega 3-2 up with a well struck low effort.Gilbert Omondi’s fifth strike for Dagoretti was a brilliant take into the top right of the roof, putting the pressure on Kakamega skipper Alpha Onyango in Kakamega’s last effort.Cool as ice, the Gor Mahia midfielder stepped up to send his side into the final.It was a tough fought battle between the two sides with the match going to the full length, 120 minutes.Kakamega High School’s Joshua Otieno takes on Dagoretti High School’s Benson Charo during their National Secondary School Ball Games semi-final tie at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 27, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe two sides had close chances to score with Joshua Otieno coming closest for Kakamega with a thunderous shot from distance which the keeper scrambled to punch away.In the second half, Kakamega were almost punished in the 67th minute when Alpha lost the ball cheaply in midfield, Finlay Osorio picking up and driving into the box but his shot came off the upright.Five minutes to the end of the regulation 90 minutes, Dagoretti came close again with Mwachozi’s snap shot from range coming off the crossbar.Dagoretti hit the crossbar once again late in added time when Osorio broke through off a counter to shoot low on the right.Meanwhile in the girls’ category, Kwale Girls will meet Archbishop Njenga in the final after beating Nyanza’s Kobala 3-2 in an entertaining but tense tie.Kwale came into the match with confidence especially having eliminated defending champions Wiyeta in the first round.Red hot skipper Elizabeth Kioko who has been the team’s engine throughout the championship scored a quick double within five minutes, breaking the deadlock after 10 minutes of play with a header off a corner before adding the second with a delightful chip over the keeper.Action between Wiyeta Girls and Kwale during their National Secondary School Games in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe hard fighting Kobala however pulled one back, the pressure bearing fruit forcing Keale defender Lencer Achieng to turn the ball into her own net.In the second half, Kobala came out with force knowing the game was within touching distance, but their pressure was punctured when Lucy Kwekwe struck the third for Kwale with a well taken shot from outside the area.The girls from Nyanza upped the ante despite being two down and eight minutes from time, hopes of a comeback were up in full force when Anney Matinde scored Kobala’s third after going past her markers before striking a belter.Nonetheless, Kwale defended well, clearing all the balls that fell within their line.In the other semi, Arch Bishop Njenga sailed to the final with a 2-0 win over Nginda Girls, Violet Wanyonyi and Brenda Masibo scoring the important goals in either half.0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kakamega High School’s Alpha Onyango vies for the ball with Dagoretti High School’s Deng Marko during their National Secondary School Ball Games semi-final tie at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 27, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluELDORET, Kenya, Jul 27- Kakamega High School went through a tense penalty shoot-out before edging out Nairobi’s Dagoretti High School 4-3 on post match penalties to sail through to the National Secondary School Games final at the Hill School in Eldoret on Friday afternoon.The game was forced into penalties after a 0-0 stalemate in regulation time and skipper Alpha Onyango who turns out for record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia stepped up to the pressure to score the decider and send Kakamega through.last_img read more


first_imgA total of 13 companies have been short-listed as finalists in this year’s Enterprising Donegal Business Awards 2012, the most prestigious business awards in the County.Organised by Donegal County Enterprise Board, the awards are aimed at small and micro businesses in Donegal, and the winners will be announced at a black tie gala dinner in the Silver Tassie Hotel & Spa, Letterkenny, on Friday 23rd March.There are 4 categories in this year’s awards: Business Achievement, Business Development, Emerging Business and Innovation. Edenmore Farm Meats Ltd., Lifford, Inishowen Country Kitchen, Malin and Public Image Hair Salon, Ballybofey have been shortlisted for the Business Achievement Award; La Maison, Letterkenny, Moll Industries Ireland Ltd., Donegal Town and The National Hairdressing Academy, Bundoran are shortlisted for the Business Development Award. Claire the Baker’s, Carndonagh, O’Donnell’s Bakery, Laghey, Stateside American Restaurant, Letterkenny and Castlefinn Partnership Initiative (NorthWest Garden Show) will compete for the Emerging Business Award while Cargo Defenders, Lifford, Farm Feeder, Killybegs and JM Joinery, Pettigo are shortlisted for this year’s Innovation award.Michael Tunney, Chief Executive of the DEB said “This year’s finalists demonstrate the vision and commitment required to drive a successful business forward.“We hope the awards will inspire others around the County to make the leap and work on their business vision too”.There is an award for the winner in each category and an overall winner of the Donegal Business of the Year award. Previous winners of the overall award include The Swilly Group, Gartan Technologies and DS Environmental Services. Each year one of the winning companies goes on to represent Donegal at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin.Tickets for the Awards cost €25 and to attend, or for further information about the Enterprising Donegal Business Awards 2012, contact Celine Carroll, Donegal County Enterprise Board on 074 9160735 or email Alternatively, you can visit the Donegal County Enterprise Board’s website at County and City Enterprise Boards are funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Union under the EU Structural Funds 2007 – 2013. THIRTEEN COMPANIES SHORT-LISTED FOR 2012 ENTERPRISING DONEGAL BUSINESS AWARDS was last modified: March 14th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal County Enterprise BoardMichael Tunneylast_img read more

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in awe of Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri

first_imgLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he cannot see a big difference at the moment between the Reds and Chelsea.The clubs currently occupy two of the top three spots in the Premier League, with Liverpool top with 18 points from a possible 18, and Chelsea two places and two points further back. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Klopp heaped praise on Sarri’s impact at Chelsea They meet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, three days after playing each other at Anfield in the third round of the Carabao Cup, with Maurizio Sarri claiming after his side were held to a goalless draw at West Ham that their next opponents were “very, very good”.Of the challenge Chelsea face, he added: “Against a team who have worked with the same coach for four or five years, I don’t remember exactly (Klopp became Liverpool manager in October 2015), they are a step forward from us in this moment.“We have started to work together 40 days ago. So for us I think it is a bit early. We have to work, we need to improve and then maybe, in one year, we will be at the same level of Liverpool.” 3 Sarri has made a good start to life in English football Klopp was asked about that on Tuesday, and said: “He said we are one year ahead? He is right only in that we work longer together.“That’s why I said it’s quite impressive what he did in that short period (since taking charge at Chelsea). I don’t see the big difference.“They developed a lot really, and changed a lot. They were very successful with Conte (under whom Chelsea won the league in 2016-17 and then finished fifth last term, as well as winning the FA Cup). It was really a successful time – last year was maybe a bit of a difficult year. So changing it that much is cool. MONEY Klopp, a beaten finalist in this competition in the season he was appointed as Liverpool boss, added: “We have a situation and we have plenty of games. We make the decisions because of the situation, not the competition.“If we say ‘only the League Cup’ – it (the final) is Wembley, and I remember when we were there, we wanted to win it. We will try again.“It’s not about judging which silverware is more important, you cannot do it like that. What we have to do is always be at 100 per cent concentration, focus, rhythm, everything.“If I see one player tomorrow who goes into the game and I have the feeling he thinks ‘it’s only the League Cup’ then he could have a real problem. But I know there will be no (such) player.” “These players are able to play this game, and it is better with (summer signing) Jorginho in the midfield, a big influence.“So – he is right, we work longer together. But obviously he doesn’t need the same amount of time as I do.“It’s impressive, I cannot say differently. It’s really impressive what he did so far.”Klopp had already said when talking about Sarri’s time at Chelsea: “It is the biggest change of system I ever saw in such a short period of time. Wow. Style completely (different). What a manager he is, to be honest.”With regard to selection for Wednesday’s cup tie, Klopp confirmed goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will make his first appearance of the season as Alisson Becker rests, and said he would name a “really strong side.” 3 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won RANKED LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move center_img REVEALED impact Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions BEST OF England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won ADVICE Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 3 silverware Klopp goes head-to-head with Sarri on Wednesday night REVEALED last_img read more

Vipers’ Zaga set to join Express on Loan

first_img Tags: Express FCFrank Tumwesigye ZagaJavier Martinez Espinosa Zaga played only two games under Javier Martinez this season (Photo by Vipers Media)KITENDE – Vipers are believed to be in advanced talks with Express FC over teenage forward Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye.The 20 year old who is one of the most highly rated young stars in the country, has found it hard to tie down a sport in the Venoms’ first team, spending most of his time in the reserves.This season, he played two games at the start of Javier Martinez’s tenure but dropped back into the second team immediately.The move to Express will be a loan deal until the end of the current season (2018/19).Zaga joined Vipers’ senior team last season from the club academy, St Mary’s Kitende and helped the Venoms win the 2017-18 Uganda Premier League title.With the likes of Moses Waiswa,Tom Masiko, Brian Nkuubi, Rahmat Ssenfuka, Duncan Sseninde and Abraham Ndugwa all ahead of him in the pecking order, it is highly understandable why Zaga has been allowed to depart on loan.At Express, Zaga is poised to get more playing time as the Red Eagles have been lucking quality in terms of play makers.Comments last_img read more

Motorcyclist killed on Sligo to Donegal Road

first_imgGardaí on Sligo are investigating a fatal road traffic collision involving a motorcyclist and a car this afternoon.The incident occurred on the N15 Sligo/Donegal Rd on the Sligo town side of Cliffoney on Thursday 26th October, 2017 at approximately 4pm.The 66 year old motorcyclist was seriously injured and pronounced dead at the scene, he was taken to Sligo University Hospital. The female driver of the car was also taken to hospital with minor injuries. The three children travelling in this car were uninjured.The road is currently closed for a Forensic Collision examination and local diversions are in place, the road is expected to be closed until lunchtime on the 27th October 2017.Witnesses to the collision are asked to contact Sligo Garda station at 0719157000, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.Motorcyclist killed on Sligo to Donegal Road was last modified: October 27th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:accidentdeathDonegal Roadmotorcyclistlast_img read more

Film Under Fire That Links Darwin to Hitler

first_imgEven before being aired, the documentary Darwin’s Deadly Legacy from Coral Ridge Ministries is taking heat, reported World Net Daily.  The criticisms, coming from Darwinists on Pharyngula and from the Anti-Defamation League, are two-fold: (1) that it trivializes the Holocaust, because “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people,” according to ADL Director Abraham Foxman, and (2) that it incorporated footage of Human Genome Project leader Dr. Francis Collins, who did not know his comments would be used in this connection when he was interviewed by Coral Ridge about his latest book.  Collins told the ADL he was “appalled at what Coral Ridge is doing,” and finds the message of the film “misguided and inflammatory.”    Coral Ridge, led by TV minister Dr. D. James Kennedy, has responded to the attacks with calls for “more history and less hysteria.”  A press release Coral Ridge Ministries responded to the criticisms from the ADL, citing secular experts, like Sir Arthur Keith and evolutionist Niles Eldredge, who have made clear links from evolutionary ideas to social Darwinism and Nazism.  The film, scheduled for broadcast August 26-27, contains interviews by a number of leaders of the Intelligent Design movement, and by historian Richard Weikart (UC Stanislaus), author of From Darwin to Hitler.Notice how the critics malign D. James Kennedy’s positive, honorable organization of citizens who care deeply about the direction of this country as “Christian supremacists” (an example of name-calling and association) designed to elicit images of the KKK.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Kennedy, a learned and compassionate pastor who teaches the gospel of grace, believes that Christian principles gave this country its freedom and liberty for all people and wants a return to the founding principles of our forefathers.  Kennedy’s campaign to reclaim America is as far from totalitarianism as a 9/11 rescuer is from a terrorist.  Let’s keep the outrage where it belongs, at the materialistic ideologies that gave us the bloodiest century in the history of the world (see next entry).    Despite the rage at Pharyngula, the Darwinists cannot escape culpability.  It’s not just Kennedy and Coral Ridge who make the claim that Hitler was a convinced Darwinist and believed he was acting out the principle of the survival of the fittest.  Many secular historians have attributed a great deal of the blame for the genocidal totalitarian regimes of the 20th century to the rigorous application of Darwinian beliefs.  Karl Marx felt himself a kindred spirit to Darwin as he formulated his materialistic version of “scientific socialism” to the class struggle in history; at his death, he was extolled as “The Darwin of Politics.”  Lenin, Stalin and Hitler each expressed Darwinian beliefs in their writings (Stalin turned from divinity student to atheist upon reading The Origin of Species).  These regimes rounded up clergymen for their gulags and death camps, and turned churches into museums of atheism.  The blame extends from beginning to end, from international to personal.  One of the Columbine killers, as he dispassionately gunned down his fellow high school students, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with “Natural Selection.”    If the ADL and today’s evolutionists want to really distance themselves from Hitler’s applied Darwinism, let’s hear two things: (1) a complete and utter repudiation of all social Darwinist and eugenics ideologies, including neo-eugenics (see 10/12/2001, 04/22/2004) and the views of Daniel Dennett and other leading Darwinists who justify killing on evolutionary principles, and (2) a rigorous explanation of how evolutionary theory promotes equal rights, justice, freedom, reason and sanctity of life instead of statism, survival of the fittest, determinism, mass population control and the glorification of death.  Good luck.  Neither the history nor the philosophy of evolutionism permit other than what has already been showcased to the world as the ugly fruit of an undirected, uncaused, purposeless world that values fitness and survival above all else.  This world was envisioned by Charles Darwin and put into practice by his ardent disciples.  Nearly 200 million souls cry from the grave in its aftermath.  The Darwinists want to tiptoe around this fact in their sneakers, but the only shoe that fits is the jackboot.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Long wait for power in Odisha after Cyclone Fani snaps transmission lines

first_imgHot and humid weather has compounded the woes of the cyclone-affected people in Odisha, with the government facing a gigantic task of restoring power to houses in Puri and Khurdha districts battered by Fani.Despite massive efforts by the State government, total power restoration is likely to be completed in Bhubaneswar only by May 15. Around that time residents of Puri too may start getting power. The extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ has damaged 75 high power transmission towers while 84,000 km low tension power lines have been found either broken or sagging. Over 11,000 distribution transformers were damaged.Massive damage “The power infrastructure has suffered massive damage. To bring it back to its earlier shape, it will take two months, but we are focusing on emergency restoration system, which will be completed in a fortnight,” State Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma told The Hindu here on Thursday.“The challenge is enormous. Two lakh electric poles have been damaged by the cyclone. Of the two lakh, one lakh will have to be replaced completely while another one lakh are repairable. The State had a stock of 80,000 poles in different districts while 20,000 poles were obtained from ongoing programmes,” said Mr. Sharma.“The Steel Authority of India Limited has made a commitment to provide 60,000 poles in phases while 30,000 poles have to be procured from different manufacturers in the State. There is a shortfall of about 10,000 which are part of lift irrigation points and that can be taken up at a later stage,” said the Energy Secretary.The State government has set up four temporary workshops at Puri to procure raw materials used in electrification. Another difficulty being faced in the restoration exercise is manpower crunch. “Ideally, 1,000 gangs (each consisting of 10 members) should have been deployed for restoring power. We have been able to deploy 500 gangs who have mostly come from outside Odisha,” he said. Contractors warned “There are 644 high tension licensee contractors in Odisha. Of them, only 100 have joined the cyclone restoration. We have issued warning that if they fail to join the force in 10 days, their licence would be cancelled,” he said. Requests were sent to West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala to get a labour force of 2,700.By Thursday, 61,000 power consumers have been provided electricity which is about 32% of the total consumers. The Energy Secretary said the target was to restore power inside Bhubaneswar by May 12.Meanwhile, people are facing a tough time with the daytime temperature crossing 40 degree Celsius at several places.last_img read more

Ronnie And Me

first_imgRonald Reagan left us a decade ago, when he wrote his letter to the American people that announced his entry into Alzheimer’s disease. “I now begin the journey,” he wrote, “that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”When he died last month, I almost forgot that he was still alive.The media reacted with frenzy: They treated Reagan as both a hero and an icon, as someone to admire and someone to worship. He earned a state funeral and funereal commentaries from the pundits. Republicans swarmed around his legacy, as Democrats silenced themselves from criticism. Reagan got a free pass to the by and by.I owe Reagan an enormous debt. He was no ordinary president for me. Reagan made an entire generation of people like me into straight-forward Leftists – we are the generation that fought against his policies in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, South Africa·We organized for sanctions on South Africa when apartheid reigned there: Reagan vetoed every effort, and he made scurrilous remarks about the good faith of the white supremacist leaders. During his speech in opposition to sanctions in 1986, Reagan referred to South Africa continually as South America. South African Bishop Tutu reacted to the speech with this, “Your President is the pits as far as blacks are concerned. I found the speech nauseating.” Reagan financed the illegal war in Nicaragua through arms sales to Iran, and while hearings convulsed Washington they did not touch Reagan. In 1987, he called the Iran-Contra deal a “mistake,” and yet Congress did not move to impeach him for the illegal actions on his watch. Nor did it much affect those around him: Oliver North is now a well-paid media commentator and John Negroponte (famous cover-man for the Honduran death squads) will be the first US Ambassador in “Liberated” Iraq.When the Lebanese fighters humiliated the U.S. marines in Beirut, Reagan scripted a “wag the dog” scenario: to divert attention, he quickly invaded Grenada. The excuse: he had to save some American medical students, but the bursar of the school in Grenada Gary Solin told the press on the day of the invasion, “Our safety was never in danger. We were used by this government as an excuse to invade Grenada.”Reagan made me who I am, an unabashed leftist: for that thanks.But that’s not my only debt. I owe him more.I, like many desis, am grateful to him for his 1986 immigration act that allowed many of us to gain green cards through the amnesty provision.But, his gift came at a costly price. That same legislation had an innocuous section called “employer verification” that allowed the state to prosecute any employer who had an “illegal immigrant” on the payroll. In 1990 the General Accounting Office released a study that showed us what this section had produced.Many Latinos and Asians, including desis, began to have a hard time finding employment in the waged work sector because employers were chary of hiring those without papers. It is not that these Latinos and Asians had no papers, just that run of the mill racism meant that those of us who looked like forever immigrants also looked like illegal ones, so many employers chose not to hire us for fear of being fined or shut-down.In addition, Reagan’s immigrant act was designed cleverly to undercut the labor movement. In the first few months of his presidency, Reagan went after the air traffic controllers’ union, PATCO, the only one incidentally that had supported him during the presidential campaign against Jimmy Carter. The salvo against labor was part of Reagan’s general policy on behalf of the upward distribution of wealth: he worked for the rich, to benefit them and to screw the working people. The immigrant act brought in people who worked in a sector of the economy that was once heavily unionized: construction work, hotel work, small manufacturing work, etc. Now with this enlarged labor pool and with weak rules for unionization, employers who did overcome their racism and hire these new immigrants could forgo the power of unions, pay low wages with few benefits and make enormous profits.Reagan’s policy pitted immigrants against other workers, and created the framework for the massive anti-Asian backlash of the 1980s: the 1987 Dotbusters formed in New Jersey to harass and attack desis are part of a nation-wide anti-immigrant wave. By the way, it is rather sick that the Organization of Chinese Americans decided to commemorate the death of Reagan with a sickly tribute press release – what about Vincent Chin, killed in 1982 as part of the early wave of anti-immigrant hysteria set off by Reagan’s “war” on Japanese products, and the many others who suffered mightily from the anti-immigrant sentiment exacerbated by the 1986 act.My television only plays PBS and Bollywood videos. It refuses to participate in the pabulum that passes for “news.” I’d rather get that from the web, from newspapers and magazines or else from the telephone updates that my mother in Kolkata gives me. I only read about what an old friend called the “sycophantic homage” to Reagan. Even in the Reagan years I found television hard to watch, partly because Reagan’s myth machine had already made “news” unbearable. During the Reagan years, the news media began to slavishly follow the dictates of the White House and write more about the “feeling” of the president than his policies.Reagan’s legacy is not only the toxic world that we live in, or the lefties that he helped produce, but the noxious myth-culture that he has given us. Our current president thrives on it. For Bush, like Reagan, image is everything, and truth is overrated. No wonder the Bush camp wanted to celebrate Reagan so: he allowed them to relive the image and to obscure the truth, which is that these are murderers and plutocrats whose “morning in America” is our mourning for America.   Related Itemslast_img read more