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General Discussion / The David Nakhid General Discussion Thread
« on: June 14, 2020, 04:21:14 PM »
The following sentence from the UNC media release is noteworthy:

Mr Nakhid has long been a staunch supporter of the UNC and an avid believer in the leadership of Kamla Persad Bissessar.

This was a necessary declaration with respect to the political leader. Although the legacy of UNC support challenges comprehensive credulity, it is intriguing messaging to the party base. On balance, both of those sentence clauses are the most important elements of the media release. More important than Nakhid's biography and more important than the legwork that facilitated this opportunity.

General Discussion / Biden's Dilemma
« on: February 10, 2020, 04:52:14 PM »
Biden's Dilemma
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe, Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

On Monday night I tuned into CNN to listen to the results of the Democratic caucus that had taken place in Iowa earlier in the day. By one am on Tuesday morning the Iowa Democratic Party (I.D.P.) had issued no results although some of the candidates made their speeches and headed off to New Hampshire to continue their quest to become the Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 election.

The I.D.P. offered many reasons for its inability to produce the results of the election in a timely fashion. Many candidates hoping to use the result of the caucus to fire up the next leg of their campaign were disappointed. Joe Biden, the favorite in the race and the person who portrayed himself as the candidate best equipped to defeat President Trump, finished in a disappointing fourth place.

Paradoxically, the inability to name a winner that evening benefited Biden, the former vice president, who had the most to lose by not finishing among the top three winners. He was lucky. Katie Glueck, Jonathan Martin and Thomas Kaplan explained: “The slow drip of vote totals in Iowa—and a swirl of other major news events—may blunt the attention of Mr. Biden’s challenges. Iowa is an overwhelmingly white state, while Mr. Biden’s political strength is with black voters, who he is counting on for support in later-voting, more diverse states.”

Although Biden promotes himself as the candidate that is most likely to defeat Trump, he was unsuccessful in his previous quests (1984, 1988 and 2008) to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Barack Obama rescued Biden’s political career when he chose him as his vice president.

Biden has always been too early or too late in his quest for the presidency. He has also said some unfortunate things and taken some controversial positions that offended many of his constituents. Now, he argues that he should be given his party’s nomination because of the length of time he has served as a senator and vice president. I am not sure this approach is sufficient to warrant his nomination.

In 1836 Richard M. Johnson was Martin Van Buren’s running mate in the presidential election. Van Buren won the election with 170 electoral votes. Virginia rejected Johnson and the state’s 23 electoral votes went to William Smith of Alabama. Johnson needed 148 electoral votes to become the VP but only received 147, one less than the number required to elect him to that position.

What was Johnson’s sin?

He fathered two children with Julia Chinn, a mixed-race woman. The U.S. Telegraph proclaimed that no American would place “in the chair of the Vice Presidency a man who has for more than twenty years lived in open connection with a negro slave—who has recognized her offspring as his children, educated them, and endeavored to force them upon society, as in all respects equal to those of his free white neighbors, and now boasts that his black or yellow daughters, are as accomplished girls as any in the immediate vicinity.”

The Senate using its powers under the Twelfth Amendment selected Johnson. This led to “the dubious distinction of his being the only vice-president elected, not by the electoral college, but by the Senate of the United States” (Robert Bolt, “Vice President Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky.”

Things have changed. Now that the white voters of Iowa have deserted Biden, he needs the black vote to be successful which makes him particularly concerned with what black voters do in South Carolina and other states.

Can Biden convince black voters that he is worthy of their support? Can he come up with a program that attacks the persistent inequality and discrimination under which African-Americans find themselves? Can he close the increasing wealth gap between black and white America?

Obama elevated Biden to the vice presidency and allowed him to partially achieve his presidential ambitions. Biden thanked Obama for his confidence in him. There is no doubt that Biden’s presence on the presidential ballot contributed to Obama’s election.

Biden needs the black vote and the Obama’s connection to see him through. But will these connections be enough to see Biden through? Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor of Princeton University argues that blacks supported Obama in spite of his troubling record with regards to black people.

She writes: “Mr. Biden continues to frame his own candidacy as an extension of the Obama administration. It’s unclear what that means. Will it be a continuation of Obama’s financial policies that benefited the richest Americans….Or, his dreadful immigration policies?…Will it be the same kind of reluctance to take on issues of racial inequality for fear of being pigeonholed as beholden to black interests?”

Unless Biden can answer these questions in a forthright manner, the black vote may not save him. The Senate saved Johnson even though he had a black mistress. Given how the Republicans pummeled Biden in the Senate last week, one wonders if he can survive the negative publicity that has dogged him from that quarter.

Let’s hope he can up his game and come up with an inspiring program and a message that inspire black people. Trump, it seems, is trying to cut into the black vote. It will neither be a free pass for Biden nor any other Democrat who is nominated to run against Trump.

The Senate saved Vice President Johnson in 1837. African Americans may come through for Biden in the forthcoming caucuses and primaries. If Biden is unsuccessful this time around I wonder if history will record that the Senate and the black vote as being responsible for his failure.

(Click on the title to access the original article).

Football / The shot heard around the world - November 19, 1989
« on: January 12, 2020, 03:18:58 AM »
LISTEN: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently heard testimony from Paul Caligiuri on Sporting Witness about November 19, 1989 and its legacy.

The programme was aired for the BBC's global audience on December 19, 2019. It's available here.

Football / Luke Singh Thread
« on: January 26, 2019, 02:18:07 PM »
Luke Singh has been on trial at the Danish Superliga club, Brøndby IF. However, his stint with the club has been interrupted because he sustained a minor back injury. 

Although Luke has returned to Toronto, Brøndby has stated that an announcement about Luke's future with the club will be made at a later date.

Football / Each One Teach Many: Life Lessons from Players for Players
« on: January 22, 2019, 06:31:19 PM »
Kevin-Prince Boateng speaking with Sid Lowe of The Guardian

‘If you don’t die, I die’

Boateng was raised in Wedding, a “rough” neighbourhood of high unemployment and high immigration where he says “people were shot and police didn’t even enter”, where he recalls Koloniestrasse, the street next to his, being in the “top 10” most dangerous, and where the “rules” were “if you don’t die, I die”. It was the kind of place that shaped you, he says. “We didn’t have much money but that was my life. I didn’t know better so it was OK – and the things you learn and see on the street make you who you are.”

It was also the kind of place you leave, he admits. He says his “brain” and his football talent, his ability to channel that “anger and aggression”, were his way out. Growing up, he knew he had a gift, an ability to see what was next, and he first joined Hertha Berlin at seven. In 2007 Tottenham Hotspur signed him for £5.4m: the “big move”, he says, but the wrong move. Left out, he wasn’t ready for London, and it could have ruined him. One morning, about a year later, he woke up, stood before the mirror, and the realisation hit him.

“I looked old,” Boateng says. He was 20.

“Every night I was out until six. I was like 95 kilos, swollen from the drinking and bad food. I said: ‘This can’t be me, I don’t want to be that guy. I have something inside: I’m a football player.’ I called my friends, two real friends, and they came. Together, we cleaned out my fridge and the house. That day, I said: ‘No, stop it.’ I didn’t drink. I didn’t go out. I started cooking; I wanted to eat healthily. From one day to the next.” Boateng clicks his fingers. “If I did it slowly, maybe I wouldn’t do it. I needed a clean break.”

How had it come to that? “Martin Jol told me he didn’t want me after a month. So, it became me against the world. You know when you shut off? That was me. ‘You don’t want me? I’ll enjoy life.’ I realise now how bad it was: six days a week nightclubbing, drinking for almost a year. But I was only 20. You don’t think things are going wrong. You see money coming in. ‘OK, I get my fun somewhere else.’ Girls, nightclubs, friends … Fake friends.”

The correction jars. There was an emptiness to life. “I left my home, family, all my friends, then my ex-wife left me and I was totally alone. I had friends but not real friends who’ll tell you: ‘What are you doing? Go and train.’ No. It’s: ‘Let’s go out.’” And at the time, [I thought] I needed that. The release, someone to talk to.

“Fans don’t care what’s in your private life, what happened in your past, where you come from. If you don’t perform they judge. I was the same, a fan judging Hertha Berlin players. That will never change. You’re a number in this system. You cost money, if you don’t work, they change the number. I had to learn to understand that; when I was 20 I didn’t.”

It is not just the fans. “In the team, everyone does their own thing; in the end, they don’t really care how you feel, why you’re sad or not training well,” he says.

Spurs’ former sporting director Damien Comolli once said Boateng was the one player he regretted signing, admitting he failed to spot a kid unprepared for the change or do enough to help. “It was probably our failure more than his,” he said. Boateng appreciates the sentiment now, saying it lifts a weight off; back then, he missed it. “No one came to ask: ‘How are you?’ No one. ‘How are you?’ Just one simple question: ‘How are you?’ No one, no one.”

Had they done, he might just have replied: “Fine,” not really aware of the damage being done, that things were even going wrong. “I was spending serious amounts: nightclubs, clothes, cars.” Three in one day, the story goes. “True,” he says. “Because you try to buy happiness. I couldn’t play football so I buy a Lamborghini. Wow, you’re happy for a week. After that you don’t even use it. Who drives around Loughton in a Lamborghini? I still have a picture: three cars, big house, I’m standing there like I’m 50 Cent. I look at it sometimes and say: ‘Look how stupid you were.’ But that made me who I am and I can look back and see it. I’ve learned. I grew up.”

“I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and thought: ‘No, that’s not me, I don’t want to be that. I’m a footballer.’”

‘Klopp is the best coach in the world’

But footballers have to play and opportunities remained limited until Dortmund took Boateng on loan for six months in January 2009, the eve of their explosion. The manager was Jürgen Klopp and the mention of his name excites. “Yes!” Boateng says. “I could see it immediately. He’s the best coach in the whole world. He knows when to push you and when to comfort you. He knows when you need a drink, when you need water. He has this …” His voice trails off. “He has everything. Ask the players and they’ll say: ‘He’s the best, I’d die for him.’

“He knows exactly what every player needs and gives them time. There were players at Dortmund who played five minutes in six months but they were happy: happy to come to training, happy to work, because he made you feel important. Not necessarily as a player – maybe he doesn’t need you – but as a person. That’s why he’s successful everywhere. And Liverpool’s perfect; just watching his presentation you see it. ‘The normal one’: people there love that. If he’d gone to Paris, it would have been best suit, [different message]. He knows how to grab people.”

Moments, chance, decisions; they can change a career, a life. There must be times when Boateng thinks: “If I’d stayed at Dortmund with Klopp …” The response is immediate. “I’d have played a Champions League final, won the league, the cup. But: ‘if’, ‘when’ … I don’t know. I’ve had a career many dream of. I’m happy, but I know I could have done better; if I’d focused more, worked harder earlier. I’m happy to have met Klopp, to have worked with him, even if it was only six months.”

Dortmund wanted to keep him but not enough to match Spurs’ £4.5m asking price. Portsmouth came, with their invisible owner and impending crisis: a backwards step but a necessary one. “For almost three years, I hardly played; that was all I wanted. They said the stadium is small: ‘I don’t care.’ The pitch is bad: ‘I don’t care.’ They have no money: ‘I don’t care.’ The contract is this: ‘OK, I sign it. Just give me the ball, let me play.’ Portsmouth was small but real. It was crazy, beautiful. I loved playing there.”

His last season in England ended, perhaps inevitably, with relegation, and also an FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea, but he played and even got a semi-final goal at Wembley against Spurs – “a little payback to show them that I made mistakes but they made mistakes too,” he says. It is said without bitterness; that is just how it is. “You didn’t work, they send you away. But when you score against your old team after they didn’t treat you how you wanted, it’s an amazing feeling.”

“I played well at Portsmouth so knew I couldn’t stay,” he continues. What he did not know was where he was going but the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he faced his brother Jérôme against Germany, the country he represented at under-21 level, and reached the quarter-final with Ghana, whose passport he had acquired in May, meant he had a market. He was in demand again, a star. Even Mandela wanted him, he discovered.

“There were three people I always wanted to meet: Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela,” he says. “I only met one, and it’s hard to describe. It’s just joy. Mandela was in prison for 27 years just because he stood up for his rights and he sits there and has no anger inside. He should be angry with the whole world, but he wasn’t. He’s calm, just there in his little seat saying hello to everybody. He makes you feel calm. He was shining. It’s like a movie. It’s like an angel sitting there.”

And what did you say to him? Did you know what to say?

“Nooo! Luckily he broke the ice, because you just stand there. It was the World Cup, people were calling me ‘David Black-ham’, going crazy for me. I was kind of like a star. We go into the room: ‘Hello … hello … hello.’ He shook my hand, pulled me towards him and said: ‘My daughter wants to marry you.’ I said: ‘Sorry I already have a girlfriend.’ He said: ‘No, no but I have others, more beautiful.’ Everyone was laughing. The pity is we couldn’t take pictures because the flash hurt his eyes so I only have one.”

Prince stops for a second then laughs. “And it doesn’t even look like me…”

‘They were all there: Ibrahimovic, Seedorf, Pirlo, Ronaldinho …’

Soon after the World Cup, Boateng was on holiday when his agent phoned. He thought a deal had been done with Genoa – it had – but his agent asked if he fancied Milan. “I said: ‘Come on, are you kidding? Seriously? I’d love to,’” he recalls. “I went out partying. Next morning, he calls at eight. I was still tired. He said: ‘Get in the car, we have to meet.’ ‘Where?’ ‘Milan.’ He said: ‘You have trained, right?’ I said: ‘Of course,’ but it was a lie: I wasn’t training; I was enjoying my holiday. ‘Perfect, because I told them you’re an animal.’ ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Oh my God.”

“They were all there. I signed the day after Ibrahimovic; Robinho signed too. There was Seedorf, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Gattuso, Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski, name it. My first day, I was there early doing the tests and saw the names. ‘This is a dream, this is a joke.’ I called my older brother: ‘I’m sitting next to Pirlo.’ ‘Take a picture, take a picture!’ ‘I’ve got David Beckham’s old locker.’ He’s like: ‘You’re lying’. I said: ‘I’ll send a picture.’”

Zlatan was the most imposing. “You think he’s this arrogant, big f**ker and completely not a nice guy but he’s the opposite: laughing all the time, cracking jokes. On the pitch, he’s very serious, very professional. But off it, the funniest guy ever.” So his persona is a facade? “Yeah of course because he doesn’t want to talk to you,” Boateng laughs. “So he puts that face on so you don’t even ask him a question.”

Do you see yourself in him?

“Not any more.”

Did you?

“Yeah, yeah. Because I was the same; I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want to show them I had emotions. I [built] this big wall. But you grow up, you’re happier with life, you think: ‘Why not?’ Why not let people talk to you? Help them? Give them a smile?”

Speaking of smiles, Boateng rates Ronaldinho highest of all, his tone hushed. No facade here. “It’s genuine: he’s exactly how he looks. Laughing, smiling, all the time. Never, never, never serious. Impossible. He’s always happy. You win, he’s happy. You lose, he’s happy. He scores three own goals, he’s happy. He just wants the ball. Give him it. That’s why he was the best; he feels no pressure. And by then he had nothing to prove.”

It was no surprise to Boateng that Milan won the league; the surprise was that he was in the team that did it. “They had a superstar in every position but the crazy thing was I was playing. I started on the bench but fought my way in. Talent, technique – everybody there has that. Maybe the only one with less technique was Gattuso, but he ran 120 minutes like a psycho. I had to bring something different so I brought fighting spirit. Running, kicking, to the point where people said: ‘He’s the new Gattuso, the new Gladiator.’”

Title secured, all round to Silvio’s to celebrate. “No, no, no,” Boateng grins. “We knew it would come out, so we never went.” He continues: “[Berlusconi] was fantastic. We had a special relationship, a bond. He saw me as the little star he’d brought and encouraged me to draw out what I had inside. My best seasons were at Milan – and he was the one who pushed me. And he knows football; he won 30 titles. You read stories about him: he did this, he did that. OK. But when you meet him, he shines. He makes you feel you’re special, not him. That was his gift; that’s why they wanted him for president, why people voted for him.”

‘If you’re 18 you don’t know anything’

Six years from that Scudetto, his only major title, Boateng headed for Spain on a free. Las Palmas may seem a curious choice – this is only their second top flight season in 15 years – but, asked why, the answer is swift: “Why not?” Options were not limitless, he had seen them on television, and Mubarak Wakaso told him they were different – an attractive team whose idealistic manager Quique Setien emphasises expression and enjoyment. It’s also tempting to adapt the old joke: so, Prince, what was it that first attracted you to the holiday island of Gran Canaria?

It’s a grey morning at Barranco Seco, the training ground where flowers border a single pitch, and the cloud has not lifted when he arrives at the stadium in the afternoon, but he’s in shorts and wakes most days to sunshine. That matters. It seems he has mellowed – seeking sporting opportunity, sure, but life too. There’s a contentedness about him, comfort and acceptance, little impatience to move. No plans to return to England, either. He’s scored there and in Italy, Germany and Spain – the only current player to have done that – so he suggests: “Maybe I’ll go to France one day, add another.”

“England was good and you never know,” he continues. “But I feel really good here. It’s exactly what I need. I love the way football’s played. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético dominate but we drew 2-2 at home against Madrid and won at Atlético. In Germany or England that’s impossible, not here. We have an incredible team, so much talent.” Given his reputation, Setien feared Boateng’s arrival but he’s been impressed and the Ghanaian fits in. That was best expressed at Villarreal when Pedro Tana completed a wonderful team move with a backheeled assist for Boateng to volley a goal worthy of Fifa’s Puskas award.

He thought so, certainly. In fact, he was counting on it. “I thought I was going to the Fifa gala. It was going to be the best day of my life after my kids’ birth. I always said I wanted to go, even if was just for the fair play award for owning up that it wasn’t a penalty. I felt if you go there, you’ve made it. You’re one of the best, even if it’s for a stupid thing, or for one goal one year. I thought they’d call me because I got so many messages and tweets …”

The call never came. “Someone explained that it’s not the best team goal, it’s the best individual goal. But football’s a team sport. Otherwise, I’ll play tennis. So, I saw all the messages and got excited.” Boateng is giggling now. “I even told my wife: ‘We’re going to Zurich.’ She asked me a week afterwards: ‘What happened to Zurich?’ I said: ‘Oh, forget about it.’ I’ll have to score another.”

He’s 29; there’s still time, but it’s also an age when retirement plans take shape. “My world’s football, my vision’s helping young players: where to put their money, which physio to see, getting them on the right path. Players need help and too many agents think about the quick money and they’re gone.”

“We didn’t study much, we’re not the best at maths or whatever, because we loved football. If you’re 18 you don’t know anything – and today at 18 you get five million net a year. You buy the world. That’s exactly what you think: ‘I. Can. Buy. The. World.’ I buy friends, I buy girls, I buy cars, I buy everything. I buy love, I buy happiness. That’s what you think. When you’re 18 you don’t care what your parents say, so you need this figure guiding you. I didn’t have that. So many players don’t.”

It’s role he’s already growing into. “There are young players here with so much talent. It can be difficult to live here: beautiful place, beautiful weather, you train two hours a day, you can go to the beach. To be focused on this island is difficult but I’m experienced, so I help, advise. If they listen, that’s up to them, but at least I can say I tried.

“I don’t want them to waste their talent. I’ve given them examples of things I did really wrong. I made mistakes in my life. I’m OK with that now, but I don’t want them to do the same stupid things that leave a mark forever: ‘Bad boy’, ‘drinker’, ‘party guy’. Some newspapers still have that image of me. Whatever. Come on, I spoke in front of the UN. Tell me another player who’s done that.”

Football / 2019 in Quotes
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:16:34 PM »
So much for waiting until the end of the year ... this one demanded immediate publication!

The talented Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi invoking the naked ire of ah "hot" Iron regarding his performance during West Ham's match against Arsenal on Saturday, January 12.

"f**king pussy @MatteoGuendouzi, I've seen you go down more in this match than I did in 2014."

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Football / The Best Pass of 2018-19
« on: December 31, 2018, 02:19:43 PM »
<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Post yuh contenders.

Football / Quotes in Football Thread
« on: December 31, 2018, 12:15:00 PM »
2018 in Quotes

“Mr Bonucci and Mr Chiellini could go to Harvard University to give classes about how to be a central defender” – Mourinho explains why Manchester United could not beat Juventus in the Champions League.

“His first touch is like a trampoline. He’s not going to make it” – former Republic of Ireland striker and Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh on Usain Bolt’s prospects as a footballer.

“I have some bad news” – Arsène Wenger breaks the news to his squad that he is to step down at Arsenal.

“I honestly did not know that no one can smoke in the stadium. I apologise to everyone” – Diego Maradona after lighting up a sizeable Cuban in the stands during Argentina v Iceland. Ten days later, he was treated by paramedics after appearing to collapse during the country’s victory over Nigeria.

“It is just shameful that so much time could be lost over one player. The delay for one player lasted four minutes, and that is a lesson for even children who play. This should be a game of men and not so much clowning around” – Mexico boss Juan Carlos Osorio speaks for the world when discussing Neymar’s play-acting.

 “I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose” – Mesut Özil retires from international duty, citing racism as one of his reasons.

 “3-0, 3-0. Do you know what this is? 3-0. But it also means three Premierships and I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them two [Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini]. So respect man, respect, respect, respect” – José Mourinho demands respect from Guardian reporter Jamie Jackson.

“I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world … Did you read any philosopher? You spent time reading Hegel? Just as an example Hegel says: ‘The truth is in the whole,’ is always in the whole” – Mourinho again, turning to philosophy.

“Memphis? He came on at Stoke away and messed up for their goal so Louis van Gaal made him play for the reserves the next day. I said, ‘Look, it’s a bit difficult [for you]. Just don’t come in with all your fancy stuff’.’ And he turned up for the reserve game in his Rolls-Royce, wearing a leather jacket and a cowboy hat. And I just thought, ‘What’s the point?’” – Wayne Rooney on where it all went wrong for Memphis Depay at Manchester United.

“He was on a protein diet so we had a chicken curry. He even had a cup of tea. He beat us all at Fifa and then we watched Match of the Day. It was a really nice evening” – N’Golo Kanté spends an evening at a fan’s house after missing his Eurostar from St Pancras after Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Cardiff.

“No” – Ada Hegerberg responds to DJ Martin Solveig asking her to twerk after she won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or.

 “Dear Los Angeles, You’re Welcome” – a full-page ad taken out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the LA Times as he signs for the Galaxy

(Sourced from the Guardian)

'Everybody fits in': inside the Canadian cities where minorities are the majority
By Sadiya Ansari, The Guardian

The Foody Mart in Markham, a sprawling city near Toronto, is found in a typical North American suburban plaza, sprinkled with fast-food chains, nail salons and a small legal firm. But look closely and you will notice the mall’s parking signs are in Chinese and the bank serves customers in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Inside the Foody Mart, there are shelves of salted duck eggs, air-shipped mangosteen and durian. Staff hand out samples of fish balls and regulars drink bubble tea alongside young families enjoying hot meals from the takeaway counter, as Shanghai pop plays over the speakers.

This is just one of many large grocers that serve the Chinese population in Canada’s most diverse city. With a population of 330,000, Markham is one of a handful of “majority-minority” cities, where visible minorities – the official term used in Canada for anyone who is not white or indigenous – make up 78% of the city’s population, according to the 2016 census.

Stores such as the Foody Mart did not exist when Jennifer Chin first moved to Markham in 1991. Born in Jamaica, Chin, 53, is ethnically Chinese, as is her husband. They raised three children while running a business manufacturing Jamaican patties, often described as a quintessentially Torontonian snack.

When she arrived, the city’s population was less than half what it is today, and just 14% was Chinese. She witnessed the city transform with waves of immigrants: Cantonese-speaking Chinese from Hong Kong, Indians, Sri Lankans, then Mandarin speakers from mainland China. Today, just 22% of the city’s residents are of European origin; 46% are Chinese, 18% are south Asian and the rest are from a variety of other backgrounds such as Iranian, Italian and Filipino.

One of the most notable characteristics of Markham’s rise has been thriving pockets of businesses – groceries, clothing stores, spas, tea shops – to serve those groups, particularly in Chinese and south Asian malls.

“It’s good and bad,” Chin says. “I love the diversity. I love that we have different kinds of foods: Sri Lankan, Indian-Chinese, even different types of Chinese food. However, sometimes you feel people aren’t encouraged as much to adapt.”

Along with several other majority-minority cities on the outskirts of Toronto, Markham represents a remarkable outcome of Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism, enacted in the 1970s under the then prime minister, Pierre Trudeau. It states that other cultures are valuable as long as newcomers are willing to integrate into “mainstream” Canadian culture – typically understood as the country’s English and French colonial roots. But what does mainstream look like in cities where the primary culture is neither English nor French? And, as Canada’s population is projected to be nearly 30% foreign-born by 2036, what does integration in these cities mean?

Cultural change

Ethnic ties have long attracted newcomers to the suburbs of Toronto, transforming what were once bedroom – or commuter – communities into thriving cities in their own right. Markham’s biggest mall now features high-end shops that rival the shopping centres in Toronto. The city has its own Whole Foods store, as well as chic mid-rise condos to complement the earlier sprawling developments of large single-family homes.

As cities get bigger, it’s only natural to be attracted to those who are similar to you, says Mohammad Qadeer, a professor of urban planning at Queen’s University, Ontario. “You usually hang out and interact with people you share interests with,” he says. “Ethnicity and religion are strong ties that bring people together.”

But majority-minority cities also serve as a reminder that diverse populations do not necessarily generate utopian post-racial societies. White flight and hate crimes still occur, as do coded fights over issues that disproportionately affect immigrants – for instance, blowback against multi-generational housing, where several generations live under one roof.

And just because a city has a high proportion of foreign-born residents does not mean its population is always open to other newcomers. Punches were thrown at a recent protest in Markham, where groups of mostly Chinese-Canadians clashed over a proposal to temporarily house asylum seekers in the city, to ease the pressure on Toronto’s shelter system. The majority (81%) of asylum seekers in the city’s shelter system are from Nigeria.

Markham has nevertheless come a long way since 1995, when the then deputy mayor, Carole Bell, expressed hostility towards Chinese malls, claiming they were driving people out of the city and that residents did not want “signage in a language we can’t read”. Not only does that signage remain, the city’s official website now translates its content into more than 80 languages, using a Google widget. In the last municipal election, some candidates participated in debates in Cantonese and Mandarin.

There remains ongoing debate, however, on how much cultural change can be adopted into mainstream society, and how quickly. For instance, statutory holidays, which are mostly aligned with Christian holidays, are days off for workers in Canada. But in 2011, some Chinese grocers in Markham (including the Foody Mart) stayed open in defiance of the law.

City councillor Joe Li heard both sides of the debate: that grocers were being discriminated against for not being able to stay open, and that Chinese businesses were trying to impose their culture on the city. Ultimately, Li decided in favour of the grocers, arguing that consumers should have the option to shop on holidays. The move proved so popular that York Region, in which Markham sits, voted that from 2018 any business could stay open 364 days a year.

Li asked for something in return: to hire more diversely. “Now you’re starting to see it,” he says. “You walk in and see south Asian people in the store, you see halal meat in the store.”

Easy access to halal meat, south Asian groceries and a mosque are all things Rameeka Khan appreciates about living in Markham. The 33-year-old pharmacist of Pakistani descent was born in Canada and has lived in the city nearly her whole life, choosing to settle here with her husband. She is glad they bought a house in 2010 – her family would be priced out today.

“It would be difficult for a younger couple to afford Markham,” Khan says. “People I know are moving [further east]. If they do decide to live in Markham, it’s more likely they are living with family, like their parents.”

At the end of 2016, seven of the 10 neighbourhoods with the most rapid increase in property values in the Toronto area were in Markham – some properties saw their value jump as much as 90% in just three years. As in Vancouver, conversations about the Markham property boom sometimes have racially tinged accusations about foreign ownership driving up prices. Local media reported that one developer said: “There is no way a Caucasian would pay $2.1m for a bungalow.”

“In general, people know who you are talking about – it must be the Chinese,” Li told a recent council meeting. “I don’t want that kind of impression.”

White flight

Brampton is another majority-minority suburb, west of Toronto. The city’s population – now more than half a million – exploded in a similar fashion to Markham’s. It is now 73% visible minority, with its largest ethnic group Indian, particularly Sikhs from Punjab, earning the city the nicknames “Bramladesh” and “Browntown”. There are also significant populations from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean.

But with its rapidly increasing diversity has come another development: not just a decreasing proportion of white residents, but also a shrinking number. According to numbers cited by the Toronto Star, the white population fell from 192,400 in 2001 to 169,230 in 2011, and now hovers around 151,000.

Rebecca Bromley, 37, says some of her white friends have left for a variety of reasons. “There’s a lot of tension [because of growth], so when people leave I’m not going to assume it’s white flight – especially if they want to buy a place they want to afford,” she says. She points to the city’s many growing pains, including traffic, construction and, for Bromley, more challenges in her work as a teacher.

Bromley attended the same Catholic high school where she now teaches and says the city’s demographic makeup has changed hugely. She sees troubling trends, such as African-Caribbean students being streamed into less-academic courses while Indian students face high expectations to excel. Bromley also sees students trying to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between schools and their parents, and others who struggle with language themselves.

“You might get a kid who presents like they are struggling with the language, but actually they have a learning disability, or you might have a kid who has no conversational ability but they can write just fine.” Bromley feels ill-equipped to help students with such different needs because they have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, she says, and the English language learners programme doesn’t help her navigate these individual problems.

Gurpreet Malhotra is familiar with such institutional gaps. He is the CEO of Indus Community Services, an organisation that serves newcomers in Brampton. In his experience, businesses have caught on that integration is a two-way street – whether they are clothing shops hiring staff who speak Punjabi or grocers stocking Indian cooking staples – but government-funded institutions have not. Political power, he says, does not reflect Brampton’s population. “We have to dislodge the well-entrenched powers,” Malhotra says of the city council.

On the federal and provincial level, the Punjabi community is well represented in Brampton. The first non-white federal party leader, Jagmeet Singh, has a strong political base in the city, where he held a seat as a provincial politician. But Brampton has only one non-white city councillor, Gurpreet Dhillon, who is Punjabi.

In the last municipal election, Bromley recalls watching a Punjabi candidate on television arguing that the mayoral office should reflect Brampton’s ethnic makeup. “I had a moment where I felt, ‘Now I’m really going to be a minority,’” she says. “To be brutally honest, it felt like I was being pushed out.”

The moment passed. She remembered she had a stable job, in an ideal neighbourhood to raise her five-year-old twins. But she struggles with how to integrate into what Brampton is becoming. She feels lucky to teach students with whom she can have “honest, unfiltered conversations”, but does not feel she can approach, for example, the group of older Indian men hanging out at the park, or busy mums at her skating rink.

Finding common ground

“Intercultural interaction is a matter of common ground and increased opportunity for encountering each other,” says Qadeer. In cities such as Markham and Brampton, where suburban sprawl reigns and most people travel by car, those opportunities outside school and work can be hard to come by.

To ensure people across cultures can better interact, Beasley says the city needs to create places for them to meet. After taking more than 11,000 residents’ comments into account, the plan proposes five city centres – walkable communities that mimic Brampton’s downtown area – to facilitate those interactions.

These new hubs would aim to reduce isolation by bringing together parks, government services, retail outlets and restaurants. The centres would also try and bring employment closer to home: 60% of Bramptonians commute to places outside the city. Beasley hopes to convince the city to adopt the plan by arguing that smarter urban design could help swap commuting time for community time.

Creating a place for communities to converge was also Jael Richardson’s intent when she founded the Festival for Literary Diversity, which brings together writers from a variety of backgrounds. “I wanted to start a festival that gave diverse writers – anyone who’s not typically represented – a space to be the expert,” says Richardson. “We consider having the event in Brampton part of the diversity mandate in and of itself.”

The festival was initially met with scepticism – Richardson says Toronto writers frequently told her the event would do better in Toronto – but her tenacity appears to be paying off. This year it secured a multi-year sponsorship from Audible – the digital audiobook producer – and publisher Penguin Random House sent a sizeable contingent of staff.

Richardson is creating space for writers in a city where diversity isn’t aspirational – it’s a fact. While it is true that changing demographics here have disturbed the mainstream sensibility, Canada’s majority-minority cities also appear to be changing what mainstream means. For some residents of Markham, such as Chin, the question isn’t whether newcomers can assimilate into the city, but whether both can adapt together.

“I don’t think you need to fit in,” Chin says of her majority-minority city. “Everybody fits in.”

British High Commissioner's baby son denied a UK passport after being born in Trinidad
The Independent

The baby son of a former British High Commissioner was denied a UK passport after he was born in a Caribbean state where his father was in post.

Former UK diplomat Arthur Snell, who served as British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago from 2011 to 2014, said he was left feeling “powerless and nervous” after the Home Office refused to grant his newborn son a passport in 2011.

He said it resulted in his child being rendered “stateless” as he was ineligible for Trinidadian citizenship.

While Mr Snell said he was able to “quickly resolve” the issue, he said it illustrated a “cultural priority within the Home Office to reject wherever possible” – highlighting that, as a white diplomat, he was easily able to resolve the problem where many others can’t.

“What it showed me was that the Home Office tends to default to no as an answer because of the hostile policies. It seems they want to make it as difficult as possible for someone to be British – like that’s almost the mission statement,” Mr Snell told The Independent.

General Discussion / When Dark-Skinned Citizens Lose Their Citizenship
« on: April 28, 2018, 08:21:29 AM »
When Dark-Skinned Citizens Lose Their Citizenship
By The Editorial Board, The New York Times

The Windrush scandal in Britain is, on one level, uniquely British. It’s about people who were brought from Britain’s Caribbean colonies after World War II to help rebuild England and then, decades later, discarded. But it is also a bitter parable of how governments in prosperous Western societies — the United States very much among them — have turned on dark-skinned migrants as alien interlopers.

These immigrants are known as the “Windrush generation” after the ship that brought the first large group of West Indians to London in June 1948, at the invitation of the British government, to fill a postwar labor shortage. More arrived over the next quarter-century, many with children.

Born in British colonies, they held British citizenship under laws in force at the time and rightly presumed that they were fully entitled to live and work in Britain. Immigration laws were tightened after 1962, eventually putting an end to large-scale migration from the Commonwealth.

The current problems for the Windrush-era migrants began in 2012 when the government, with Theresa May as home secretary, cracked down on illegal immigrants, making it necessary for them to document their right to government benefits, including health services. Many people born in Caribbean countries arrived as children on their parents’ passports and had never applied for their own travel or immigration documents; many others took their status for granted.

The Home Office did not keep records that would have confirmed their status, and a Home Office whistle-blower revealed that thousands of landing cards from the 1950s and ’60s, which would have confirmed the migrants’ arrival dates, had been destroyed during a move. As The Guardian chronicled in a series of articles, the callousness of the bureaucracy led many to be threatened with deportation, denied health services, fired or left homeless.

Mrs. May, now Britain’s prime minister, recently apologized to the many thousands of people affected, but she deserves little credit. As home secretary she set the stage for the scandal by pledging to create a “really hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, and it was only when public outrage soared, and leaders of former British colonies had gathered in London for a Commonwealth meeting, that she said, “We are genuinely sorry.”

The British government has now set up a special team to urgently affirm the legal rights of these migrants and reimburse them for their losses. That is the least it should do.

Nothing can really compensate them for the hell many went through. Nor do the apology or belated fixes change the fact that this was due to the government’s hostility to immigrants, and especially immigrants of color. The same official hostility can be found in many parts of Europe toward Middle Eastern refugees and in the Trump administration’s policy toward immigrants from Central America.

When Mrs. May speaks of creating a hostile environment for immigrants; or Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, says that with mass immigration “our worst nightmares can come true”; or President Trump describes immigrants as criminals, they feed a hostility that spreads through bureaucracy, law enforcement and the public. And they inflict suffering even on those like the Windrush generation, people who have lived and worked for 50 years in a country they believe to be their own.

Attacker of black actor in Madrid: “I’m white. I can kill you, nothing will happen”
El Pais

Click here to see the victim and the aggressor.

African actor Marius Makon was involved in an apparent racist incident on Saturday, after a woman in a bar called him a “black piece of shit” before assaulting him with a bottle. The Spanish Immigration and Refugee Support Network has reported the incident to Madrid prosecutors as a hate crime.

According to the report, the attack occurred in an establishment in Móstoles, a city in the Madrid region, at around 7am. The actor, known by his stage name Elton Prince, approached the counter with his friends to order coffee when a woman, accompanied by a man, said to him: “I don’t want black people in this place or in front of me.”

According to Makon’s Facebook post about the incident, he replied: “No Miss, I will only be here for a moment and then I’m leaving. I don’t have any interest in staying near you for long.” The 33-year-old woman, who is from El Salvador, then allegedly replied: “I don’t care, you black piece of shit, get out of here.” He said: “Calm down Miss, I insist, we are in a public place and I don’t understand your anger.”

“Black piece of shit, I’m white. I can kill you and nothing will happen,” she said, before grabbing a beer bottle and smashing it against the actor’s head. She hit him a second time, causing a cut to his head among other injuries, which required medical attention.

The actor was helped by people in the bar and the owners of the establishment called the police. When the authorities arrived they identified the culprits and advised Makon to file a report, which he did at a police station. The woman was detained shortly after and then released once her statement was taken by the police.

In its complaint to Madrid regional authorities and the hate crime special department, the Spanish Immigration and Refugee Support Network said that as well as physically injuring the actor and hurling racist abuse, the woman “was looking to provoke the victim and cause a reaction.”

The organization has called for an “immediate” sentence and is pushing the Móstoles Town Hall and the Madrid regional government of Cristina Cifuentes to “show their condemnation for what happened.” “We will not stop until these types of backward, intolerable and feudal-era assaults are stopped,” the organization published on Facebook.

“Now I am in my house and I look through these images [of his injuries] I do not feel any hate towards the woman,” Makon posted on Facebook. “I want to say that I am not angry with her and I don’t know why. I am sad that she feels such hate, that she lives with hate. It saddens me that she does not enjoy life, that she doesn’t leave a small space in her heart to love.

“What’s funny is that before hitting me with the bottle she said to me, ‘I’m white and we are in Spain. I can kill you and nothing will happen to me.’ The truth is nothing has happened to her,” he added. “After being identified she has gone home, while I have gone to mine with seven stitches. Now the problem is in the hands of the law. The law will decide on the sentence.”

“Racism will never defeat us, love, love, love,” Makon ended on a separate post on Twitter.

The incident comes a week after the Council of Europe released a report urging Spain to create an independent anti-racism body. Spain and the micro-state of San Marino are the only members of the 47-strong Council that still lack an organization specifically designed to tackle racism.


General Discussion / Houston and Harvey
« on: August 30, 2017, 04:13:07 PM »
If you are in Houston or the surrounding affected areas, let us know how we can assist.

Time to doff your cap because the last laugh will be Floyd Mayweather’s
By Bryan Armen Graham, The Guardian.

Lou DiBella was near the end of an 11-year run as an executive at HBO when a young fighter walked into his office looking to renegotiate his contract with the network. The year was 1999 and Floyd Mayweather was the 22-year-old super featherweight champion of the world.

The offer on the table was a four-fight, $5m extension. It was, HBO insisted, one of the best contracts any young fighter in the world had been offered. But for the Olympic bronze medallist who had signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, it was a non-starter. Or, as he put it at the time, “slave wages”.

“I’m not any young fighter,” Mayweather told the room. “I’m not like the rest of those guys. I’m going to be the greatest. I’m never going to lose.”

And here we are. Nearly two decades on, Mayweather is widely recognised as the finest boxer of his generation, unbeaten in 49 professional fights and 26 world championship contests with titles in five weight classes. He will surpass $1bn in career earnings whether he wins or loses in Saturday’s 12-round boxing match against Conor McGregor, a two-division UFC champion who is making his professional boxing debut.

But as the 40-year-old from Michigan prepares for what appears to be his final ring outing, he remains a figure with a complex legacy that can only be drawn in shades of grey. He overcame a chaotic upbringing filled with drug abuse and violence to rise to the 1% but in turn has been dogged by allegations, and a conviction, of domestic abuse. As the frontman for his nascent promotional company, he speaks passionately and credibly about advocating on behalf of fighters but when I asked him last week about his thoughts on Charlottesville, he pirouetted from the query with the elusiveness he’s shown for years. Ali on Vietnam this was not: states are neither red nor blue on Floyd’s map, only green.

Behold Mayweather at the peak of his promotional heft: now he will earn a nine-figure guarantee fighting a non-title bout against an opponent with no boxing experience on the pro or even senior amateur level.

DiBella, who opened shop as a promoter in New York after departing HBO in 2000, remembers the young Mayweather as “a star in terms of ability but not in terms of popularity or recognition” – a precocious talent frustrated with the lack of traction he’d made after signing with Arum. As the network and fighter dug in over the contract extension, DiBella suggested they could walk down to Times Square, a one-avenue jaunt from HBO’s midtown Manhattan headquarters, and if people started stopping Mayweather on the street then the network would renegotiate.

Mayweather never did sign the extension but the implication was clear: there is a difference between an elite boxer and an attraction. Just being good at what you do is not enough. One can only speculate where that demonstration fits into the origin story of Money Mayweather, the pantomime-villain persona that Floyd launched after buying himself out from Arum in 2007 for a lump sum of $750,000 and has since leveraged to untold riches.

There is something to be admired about Mayweather’s ascent in a business that has traditionally conspired to exploit and defraud fighters for as long as anyone can remember, in the way he has leveraged his success to rewrite the rules for himself. Nearly all other boxers receive a contracted purse, with their promoters pocketing the rest. Not Mayweather, who has worked with an enigmatic adviser named Al Haymon – a Harvard-educated former concert promoter who obsessively keeps to the shadows – to develop a unique financial structure based on the exchange of upfront risk for back-end profit.

Of course if it was that easy, everyone would do it. Some, such as Adrien Broner, have tried. But Mayweather did not hack the sport because he was brash or cocksure. It happened because he works harder than anybody else, from his impossibly rigorous training sessions to those famous 4am runs. Unlike so many of his fistic brethren who balloon up and down in weight between fights, Mayweather stays in fighting shape all year round; his is a deceptively monastic lifestyle.

So much of Mayweather’s allure hinges on the zero in his loss ledger, that he has never been down or seriously hurt so much as lost a fight as a professional. Not until he turned heel eight years ago did the eight- and nine-figure paydays become the norm. The fact is, more fans will plunk down $99.95 on Saturday night to watch him lose than to watch him win.

They are almost certain to come away disappointed. Mayweather spent his boxing career so far ahead of everyone else it was embarrassing. The proverbial “puncher’s chance” that is McGregor’s best hope is never less meaningful then against a slippery technician such as Floyd.

No, this is yet another first for Mayweather: a valedictory lap for a fighter. Happy endings such as these are as rare as it gets in this cruel trade. As goes the timeworn chestnut: you don’t retire from boxing, boxing retires you. The decline is almost never gradual. The night when it becomes evident that a fighter no longer has what it takes to compete at the highest level it is often wildly brutal and dramatic, it is not signified by something as harmless as shooting 20% from the field or completing 10-of-35 passes with four interceptions.

When it’s gone for a fighter, they find themselves positioned across from a very dangerous individual who is trying to hurt them. It is a life-threatening situation.

Perhaps that is the fate that awaits Mayweather on Saturday night but the possibility is so astronomically remote that it is barely worth discussing. Instead, even if you despise the man and what he represents, it is time to doff your cap and send him on his way. The last laugh is Floyd’s – and surely he has earned it.

“I still find it remarkable that this cocky little f**ker, he was right,” DiBella said, with a laugh. “It’s nearly 20 years later and this kid still hasn’t lost and he’s amassed the biggest fortune that any fighter ever has in boxing.”

Football / Thread for the T&T vs Jamaica game (24-August-2017)
« on: August 07, 2017, 11:13:52 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the friendly T&T v. Jamaica game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium (8pm) on 24th of August 2017 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with unnecessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

To be updated.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad


Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic), Adrian Foncette (Police FC).


Maurice Ford (W Connection), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Alvin Jones (W Connection), Taryk Sampson (Central FC), Shane Sandy (St Ann’s Rangers), Kevon Villaroel (North East Stars), Aubrey David (PS Remi—Finland).


Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jared London (Club Sando), Nathaniel Garcia (Central FC), Hashim  Arcia (Defence Force FC), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Neil Benjamin Jr (W Connection), Tyrone Charles (Club Sando), Julio Noel (San Juan Jabloteh), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA).


Rundell Winchester (North East Stars), Marcus Joseph (W Connection).


Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA).

Coach - Dennis Lawrence.

Jamaica Squad


Amal Knight (UWI), Shaven Sean Paul (Portmore United).


Javain Brown (Harbour View FC), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View FC), Ladale Ritchie (Montego Bay United).


Michael Binns (Portmore United), Jermaine Johnson (Tivoli Gardens), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United), Vishinuel Harris (Arnett Gardens), Marvin Morgan (Arnett Gardens), Ricardo Morris (Portmore United), Kaheem Parris (Cavalier SC), Fabian Reid (Arnett Gardens), Leonard Rankine (Sandals FC), Jamiel Hardware (Boys' Town).


Alex Marshall (Cavalier SC), Shamar Nicholson (Boys’ Town), Leonardo Rankine (Sandals FC), Rondee Smith (Portmore United).

Coach - Theodore Whitmore.

Updates to follow as we get more info, so keep checking back.

Trinidad and Tobago History / A French Creole Saga
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:08:39 AM »
A French Creole saga
By Bridget Brereton, Express.

I’ve said before that Fr Anthony de Verteuil is a national treasure. His many books have researched and documented so many aspects of Trinidad’s history. He’s written about every sector of the society, but he is above all the chronicler of the French Creoles, who played such an important part in the island’s past.

Fr Anthony’s latest book, co-authored with Adrian Camps-Campins, is a lavishly illustrated family history, Thank God for Trinidad: The Agostinis. It’s the story of one immigrant who arrived in Trinidad in the 1800s, and the family and businesses he founded.

Of course, François Agostini wasn’t just any immigrant. As Fr Anthony says, “he had five things in his favour. He was white, he was educated, he knew the language (French), he was Catholic, and he was young, strong and ambitious”. Few of the people who arrived in Trinidad after the end of slavery enjoyed any of these advantages, let alone all five.

Agostini arrived here from his native Corsica, part of France, in 1855, to join relatives already established in Trinidad—what we call “chain migration”. Only 17 years old, he quickly got a job as an overseer and then a manager of a sugar estate in the deep South. From this start, he was able to acquire land in several different parts of the island, and to accumulate great wealth.

By the time he died in 1921, Agostini owned a large coconut plantation in Icacos, Constance, with a copra factory and an estate house; several cocoa plantations in Central Trinidad (Montserrat) with an elaborate Great House; and a mansion on Henry Street, Port of Spain.

The book gives us a vivid sense of how this privileged and wealthy French Creole family lived in the early 1900s. “Great House life” at Constance and at San Juan (Montserrat) is described in detail, partly through the many fascinating photographs, partly from family tradition shared with the author, and partly from an unpublished memoir by one of Agostini’s granddaughters. So too is the lavish lifestyle at Castiglione, the town house named for a place in Corsica.

This is a success story, of course, but Fr Anthony—who is largely responsible for what I’ve called the French Creole narrative of Trinidad’s history—is not uncritical of his subjects. François Agostini is described as a “mean” employer, and his brother Henri as a “brutal” one (both employed indentured and free Indian labour, as well as Afro-Trinidadians, as estate workers and domestic servants).

One interesting aspect of the story is that the Agostinis, perhaps untypically of the island’s French Creoles, always remained essentially French. The tradition of sending the children (girls and boys) to schools in France, not England, was carried on well into the 20th century. The family went on holiday to France every year, and nearly all the girls, of several generations, married Frenchmen. Agostini boys fought (and died) with the French army in World War I. François twice refused a seat in the Legislative Council because of his “imperfect English”—a man who’d lived in Trinidad since he was 17.

There’s much more to learn from this book: about Hosay in Cedros and in Montserrat; about the horse races held on the beach at Cedros; about how the upper class celebrated Carnival in the early 1900s; and about the lively (and exclusive) French Creole social life in Montserrat, based on the cocoa estates there during the heyday of the “Golden Bean”.

The photographs, mostly from Camps-Campins’ collection, add a rich dimension to the book; as Fr Anthony says, the text was written around them. It’s a family history, but you don’t need to be an Agostini, or a French Creole, to appreciate this window into the island’s past.

Bridget Brereton is professor emerita of History at The UWI, St Augustine.

Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one
By Akilah Johnson, Boston Globe.

For decades, geography teachers have relied on a more than 400-year-old map that grossly distorts the size of the world’s landmasses — the byproduct of trying to depict a sphere on a flat surface and, perhaps, of Colonialism.

The world maps that have hung on school walls in Boston and around the country portray North America as larger than Africa (but it’s not) and Alaska as more mammoth than Mexico (also untrue).

But now, social studies classrooms throughout the Boston Public School system are getting an upgrade some 448 years in the making. On Thursday, about 600 elementary, middle, and high school classrooms received new 24-by-36-inch laminated maps – yes, paper maps and not high-tech, satellite images – in an effort to show students what the world really looks like. The district is swapping out conventional maps for those that more accurately depict the dimensions of continents and countries.

The map exchange is part of the district’s effort to “decolonize the curriculum” within the next three years, said Colin Rose, assistant superintendent in charge of the Boston Public Schools’ Office of Opportunity and Achievement Gaps. A goal of the office is to eliminate structural bias and inequality within the school system while ensuring that what students learn in the classroom is culturally competent.

“So this is about maps, but it isn’t about maps,” Rose said. “It’s about a paradigm shift in our district. We’ve had a very fixed view that is very Eurocentric. How do we talk about other viewpoints? This is a great jump off point.”

The previous map, created in 1569 by Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator for navigational purposes, warps the sizes of continents and countries. Africa is three times bigger than North America, for example, but appears smaller on the map. On the Mercator map, Greenland looks massive compared with Africa, which is actually 14 times bigger than the island. And while Alaska appears to eclipse Mexico, the country’s 49th state can actually fit inside of our nation’s neighbor to the south with room to spare.

The replacement map shows countries’ true proportions to one another. Created by German historian Arno Peters and introduced to the world in 1974, the Peters Projection map has been adopted for use by the United Nations.

A 20-foot inflatable globe was on display at Boston Public School headquarters in Dudley Square on Thursday, part of an effort to show students what the world really looks like.

This map literally changes how people see the world, historians and geographers say.

“It maintains the sizes of places. It challenges the conventional way of looking at the world,” said Vernon Domingo, a geography professor at Bridgewater State University and a member of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance.

But, Domingo and others say, maps do more than show the physical size and shape of landmasses. They also represent the historic and political battle lines of the world.

“Most of the early world map projections that lasted were created by North Europeans,” Domingo said. “And so, their perspective was from the northern hemispheric perspective, but a Colonial perspective as well.”

Casey Cullen, a history teacher at Westborough High School and the president of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, said he often quotes noted scholar Ali Mazrui by telling students, “Geography is the mother of history.”

“The story starts from where we start,” Cullen said. “If we’re going to try to tell the tale of people from other nations and where they come from, we need to be as accurate as possible.”

He said what Boston doing is “unique,” in that he’s heard of individual teachers in Massachusetts using the Peters Projection map, not an entire school system. The advent of technology has many classes abandoning traditional maps that roll down from the blackboard, opting for Google maps or virtual tours, he said.

The idea to add the Peters Projection map to Boston classrooms came about this summer when Rose hired Hayden Frederick-Clarke as the director of cultural proficiency. Frederick-Clarke came up with a short list of changes that would help make a school system that is about 74 percent black and Hispanic more culturally competent. Things, Frederick-Clarke said, he deemed as “easy wins. If we had the political will to do them.”

Replacing the Mercator map was at the top of the list, he said, because the map “is, in my mind, one of the most insidious examples of how schools perpetuate racism.”

So on Thursday, 600 freshly laminated maps, which cost a total of about $12,000, were distributed to Boston principals and headmasters.

Natacha Scott used this inflatable globe on display at Boston Public School headquarters on Thursday to explain the size of countries to students from The Nathan Hale School.

The maps will be distributed by grade and area of study: second grade classes because the curriculum teaches cultures from around the world; seventh grade because students study world geography; and 11th grade because world history is taught.

The goal is not to toss out all the old maps but to use the new ones to compare competing narratives about the world, said Natacha Scott, the district’s director of history and social studies.

“One of the things we teach students is, to become good historians, they must question and analyze,” she said.

The maps, she added, will help them do just that.

Click on title to be linked to the original article.

Football / 2017 Caribbean Club Championship Thread
« on: January 16, 2017, 11:07:49 AM »
2017 Caribbean Club Championship teams, groups & schedule announced

CONCACAF announced Monday the clubs, groups and schedule for the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship.

A record 20 sides from 11 countries – headed by Trinidad & Tobago’s Central FC, the two-time defending champion – qualified for the 19th edition of the competition, which will determine the region’s representatives to the next edition of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.

The first round consists of five groups of four teams, which will play a round-robin format from late February through March.  Greenbay Hoppers FC (Antigua & Barbuda), Don Bosco FC (Haiti), Montego Bay United FC (Jamaica), Central FC (Trinidad & Tobago) and System 3 Sport Academy (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) will host the group stage.

Group Stage Venues

Group A: Antigua Recreation Ground – St. John's, Antigua & Barbuda,
Group B: Stade Sylvio Cator – Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Group C: Montego Bay Sports Complex - Montego Bay, Jamaica
Group D: Ato Boldon Stadium. – Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Group E: Victoria Park - Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The five group winners will advance to the final round, scheduled to be played from May 13-21.

The Caribbean Club Championship has been contested annually since 1997 (with the exception of 1999 and 2008), when United Petrotrin of Trinidad & Tobago captured the inaugural title.  A champion has been crowned 16 times, with DirecTV W Connection, also of Trinidad & Tobago, lifting the trophy a record three times.

Besides Central FC, the 2017 field includes two former Caribbean champions: San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago) and Portmore United (Jamaica).  Additionally, Transvaal, a past CONCACAF club champion (1973, 1981) qualified for the event as runner-up in the 2015/16 Surinamese league.

2017 Caribbean Club Championship Participating teams (alphabetical order)

Bequia United FC (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
Central FC (Trinidad & Tobago)
Cibao FC (Dominican Republic)
Club Barcelona Atletico (Dominican Republic)
Club Sportif Moulien (Guadeloupe)
Don Bosco FC (Haiti)
Elite Sport Club (Cayman Islands)
Flames United SC (Sint Maarten)
Greenbay Hoppers FC (Antigua & Barbuda)
Grenades FC (Antigua & Barbuda)
Inter Moengo Tapoe (Suriname)
Montego Bay United FC (Jamaica)
Police FC (Montserrat)
Portmore United FC (Jamaica)
Racing FC des Gonaives (Haiti)
San Juan Jabloteh FC (Trinidad & Tobago)
Scholars International (Cayman Islands)
SV Transvaal (Suriname)
System 3 Sport Academy (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
USR Sainte‐Rose (Guadeloupe)

First Round Schedule

GROUP A (Antigua & Barbuda)
February 22, 2017
Racing FC v Inter Moengo Tapoe
Greenbay Hoppers v Bequia United FC

February 24, 2017
Bequia United FC v Racing FC
Greenbay Hoppers v Inter Moengo Tapoe

February 26, 2017
Inter Moengo Tapoe v Bequia United FC
Greenbay Hoppers v Racing FC

GROUP B (Haiti)
March 1, 2017
Police FC v Cibao FC
Don Bosco FC v USR Sainte-Rose

March 3, 2017
Cibao FC v USR Sainte-Rose
Don Bosco FC v Police FC

March 5, 2017
USR Sainte-Rose v Police FC
Don Bosco FC v Cibao FC

GROUP C (Jamaica)
March 1, 2017
Club Barcelona Atletico v Elite Sport Club
Montego Bay United FC v Grenades FC

March 3, 2017
Grenades FC v Club Barcelona Atletico
Montego Bay United FC v Elite Sport Club

March 5, 2017
Elite Sport Club v Grenades FC
Montego Bay United FC v Club Barcelona Atletico

GROUP D (Trinidad & Tobago)
March 8, 2017
Scholars International v Portmore United FC
Central FC v SV Transvaal

March 10, 2017
Portmore United FC v SV Transvaal
Central FC v Scholars International

March 12, 2017
SV Transvaal v Scholars International
Central FC v Portmore United FC

GROUP E (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
March 8, 2017
Flames United SC v San Juan Jabloteh
System 3 Sport Academy v Club Sportif Moulien

March 10, 2017
San Juan Jabloteh v Club Sportif Moulien
System 3 Sport Academy v Flames United SC

March 12, 2017
Club Sportif Moulien v Flames United SC
System 3 Sport Academy v San Juan Jabloteh

VOTE: Would T&T have won the 5th Place Playoffs with Terry Fenwick?

Football / Standing with the Bascome brothers
« on: December 14, 2016, 04:50:16 PM »

Standing with the Bascome brothers
By Jonathan Bell, Royal Gazette.

Support has poured in for football coaches Andrew and David Bascome after their revelation of suffering sexual abuse as young players.

Numerous community members yesterday rallied around the brothers by backing a Facebook campaign urging them to post: “I stand with the Bascome brothers”.

Activist Dwayne Caines, who launched the social media drive, praised the Bascomes for breaking a local culture of secrecy, and expressed hope we could now hear more voices against sexual abuse and finally move toward a healing process.

On Monday, Andrew Bascome’s disclosure about being molested for several years in his younger days came with a call for tighter security around sports clubs and those working with young people, to curtail sexual predators.

Reacting yesterday, shadow sports minister Michael Weeks, a well-known figure in the local sporting scene, said the issue had been “concealed beneath the surface for generations”.

Also yesterday, police asked for other victims to make their story known to authorities, thus enabling investigations to proceed.

Mr Caines told The Royal Gazette that in recent times social media and online connectivity had made it easier to stop “sweeping things under the rug”.

“The local culture kept silent simply because we are afraid that exposing our secrets will bring shame and guilt on our family and community,” he said.

“We are now seeing a united voice in the world against abuses of children, men and women.”

Among those to “stand with the Bascome brothers” was Guilden Gilbert, who posted: “Men of great courage and character.”

Richard Scott wrote: “I believe we’ll begin to see more men come forward with their experiences. The healing process has begun! This story has the potential to break the back of the enemy’s scourge over the island.”

Kim Minors stated: “May God bless them for their bravery. Because of their openness, the healing can begin for them and many others who also were afraid to tell.”

Andrew Bascome could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he posted on Facebook: “Thank you Dwayne Caines. #endthesilence #footballmatters.”

Mr Bascome had earlier posted: “I had to speak my truth. Thank you for your support. “Grateful for the support from the BFA. All I want to do is just teach football and just try to help that one kid that might not have any hope.”

The local revelations have mirrored confessions in the UK during recent weeks by numerous former players who said they had been abused by persons in authority. British media reported yesterday that 30 clubs in London alone were now under investigation, including four in the Premier League.

Last week, local coach Maceo Dill drew a comparison to Bermuda, saying that sexual abuse was “rampant” on the island.

Emphasising that his call online included female victims, Mr Caines said too many adults were “broken, trying to put together the fractured pieces just to cope”.

“Over my lifetime I have admired the Bascome brothers, who have represented their community and country with the highest of standards. They have showed men in this country what happens when you work hard, stay focused and remain dedicated. When I heard what happened to them, immediately I felt that it was my responsibility as a Bermudian male to stand in solidarity and communicate to them and other victims of abuse that we stand with you and support you. This is the first of many steps in breaking the culture of silence that has been the gasoline that fuels the secrets and the lies.”

Mr Caines, who is at present the acting assistant Registrar General during a six-month leave of absence from police, said he was speaking to “all organisations that cater to children, to create safe spaces for our young, ensure they are supervised and educate our community on how to keep our children safe”.

The statements by the Bascome brothers were commended by the charity Scars, which offers training on child sex abuse awareness, and calls for “drastic” legislative change. Mr Caines said that the island’s culture was “changing slowly — it happens one person at a time, one conversation at a time”.

“We must create a culture of accountability at every level, and have tough conversations in our own personal spaces.”

In a society that “judges every move”, Mr Caines said it was imperative to give “members of our community, who have been taken advantage of, the chance to become whole”.

Coach Bascome: ‘I’ve been molested’
By Raymond Hainey, Royal Gazette.

Brothers Andrew and David Bascome yesterday told a press conference they had been sexually abused in their early football careers.

Andrew Bascome, the Bermuda coach, broke down in tears as he told the media “I’ve been molested”, later explaining to The Royal Gazette that it took place when he was a schoolboy player.

“It was happening when I was a player at North Village by one of the players and it went on for years,” Mr Bascome said.

He said he had been targeted by an older player, adding: “He got the trust. It was just shameful.”
His brother, David, a former professional in the United States, also spoke at the press conference, saying that he had been “in that same position of being molested”.

The pair — two of the island’s best-known players and coaches — were speaking in the wake of claims from Maceo Dill, a coach and colleague at ABC Football Foundation, that the local game has been widely affected by sexual abuse.

After their remarks, Mr Dill called for a criminal investigation to determine “how many more” had been targeted.

The Bascome brothers were at a press conference to announce ABC Football Foundation’s new drive to raise $250,000 next year for community work.

Andrew Bascome told the gathered media: “I’ve been molested and it was just football for me.

“All I want to do is just teach football and give back to football, and try to just help that one kid that might not have no hope and feel worthless and useless.”

Speaking to this newspaper after the press conference, Mr Bascome said the experiences he had suffered “made it hard to trust — it’s hard to get attached”.

He called for tougher security and vetting for those linked to youth sports to help to minimise the risk of sexual abuse.

Mr Bascome said his work as a coach helped to protect him from the memories of years of torment.

“It’s nights — it’s when I’m alone. As long as I’m coaching, it doesn’t come into my mind,” he said. “I just feel like I’m in a good space. It’s dealing with it after.”

He said the abuse had not affected his commitment and love of the game, adding: “I’m a good person — it’s difficult to talk about.”

He said the abuse started in the early 1980s and continued for several years, adding that he was too ashamed to report the catalogue of sex abuse to police or responsible adults.

“I just felt so ashamed,” he said. “I didn’t know. I ask myself that, too.”

He added he still sees the predator who targeted him around the island, but tries to avoid contact with him.

“I try not to see him — I try my best not to see him,” he said.

David Bascome told the press conference: “You all may know me for doing everything I can for young people.

“What we are witnessing now is what this game means to us, what this game means to other young people and also what this game just means for Bermuda.

“This was our way out and we found our safe place and, as my brother speaks, I will let you know I was also in the same position as him, being in that same position of being molested. I’ve been there.”

Last week, Mr Dill, said he was aware that several former players had suffered sexual abuse by people linked to the island’s clubs.

Resume Hot-Line / US-based Sports Marketing Vacancy
« on: July 27, 2016, 07:08:06 AM »
Director of Marketing

About the NCHSAA:

The mission of the NCHSAA is to provide governance and leadership for interscholastic athletic programs that support and enrich the educational experience of students.


Director of Marketing

The Director of Marketing will report to and assist the Associate Commissioner for Development and Marketing in three main areas: (1) Marketing; (2) Social Media; and (3) Hotel Partnerships.  This position, under the supervision of the Associate Commissioner for Development and Marketing, is responsible for ensuring annual departmental and organizational marketing goals are met.  Research and implementation of advertising campaigns, branding elements, maintenance of existing partnerships and cultivation of corporate sponsorships is also a necessary for the success of this position. The Director of Marketing will also oversee and maintain the NCHSAA’s social media platforms and consult with both internal and external clients regarding content, and strategy, identifying the NCHSAA’s return on investment.

Qualifications and Experience:   

This position requires a minimum of three years combined experience in event and hospitality planning, sport-related marketing, athletic administration or significant experience in equivalent or comparable areas.  This position requires a demonstrated ability to work closely with external clients and entities including corporate sponsors, advertising vendors and hoteliers, and communicate effectively with staff and company stakeholders both orally and in writing. Working knowledge of the NCHSAA and its programming, high school sports and the state of North Carolina is required. Demonstrated creativity, initiative and ability to work with minimal supervision is necessary. Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office platforms is necessary. Advanced working knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign and iMovie is preferred.

Education Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree required. Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree preferred.


The following duties are normal for this position and are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.

Revise, recommend, implement and measure the success of the NCHSAA marketing plan to enhance the NCHSAA’s brand and position within the marketplace to the general public and its immediate stakeholders.

Attend State Championship events to maximize branding elements, promotion of NCHSAA partnerships, and sustenance of NCHSAA marketing initiatives.

Prepare and provide monthly marketing reports to Associate Commissioner relative to advertising reach and social media engagement among other things.

Oversee and coordinate NCHSAA presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and other emerging social media platforms.

Develop, advise and implement a strategy for NCHSAA staff’s use of social media at championship and non-championship events.

Coordinate and ensure sound relations with community host organizations to secure hotel accommodations at NCHSAA specific rates for participating schools and spectators.

Serve as a liaison between the NCHSAA member schools and hoteliers, to facilitate complimentary room acquisition.

Other duties as assigned.

Occasional Weekend Work is Required.

Medium to Heavy Work: Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally and/or up to twenty pounds of force as frequently as needed to move objects.


From the link below, submit a cover letter, resume and a list of five professional references. Reference information should include name, position, relationship to applicant, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Deadline for submission of applications: Tuesday, August 2, 2016.

Via email:

Cover letter (required)
Resume (required)
References (optional)

Football / Charlotte World Cup
« on: June 13, 2016, 11:20:30 AM »
Lehwe geh some post-event reaction nah.

How was it? Success? Failure? Gih we someting.

Football / The UNCAF Thread.
« on: May 26, 2016, 06:15:58 AM »
UNCAF Women’s Inter-Club Championship starts Tuesday

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – The inaugural UNCAF Women’s Inter-Club Championship kicks off Tuesday with a doubleheader at the Estadio Ernesto Rohrmoser.

In the opener, Moravia (Costa Rica, runner-up) will face UNAN (Nicaragua, champion), followed by a meeting between Saprissa (Costa Rica, champion) and Pares (Guatemala, runner-up).

The six-team competition (two groups of three), which concludes on May 29, also includes Honduras’ Universidad and UNIFUT of Guatemala.

Victor Alfaro, president of the Costa Rican women’s football league, is excited that his country is hosting an event that is a significant milestone in the history of women’s football.

"There is no doubt that one feels pride when seeing that spaces are opening up for women, something we have fought hard to achieve,” he said in a pre-tournament press conference. “Costa Rica has been doing extraordinary things in football and the women have shown that they can compete, so making these tournaments will help to achieve our objectives.”

The top two teams from each trio will advance to the semifinals on May 28. A day later, the winners will square off in the final.

2016 UNCAF Women’s Inter-Club Championship
Estadio Ernesto Rohrmoser – Pavas, San Jose, Costa Rica
May 24-29, 2016

Group A: Saprissa, Universidad, Pares
Group B: UNIFUT, UNAN, Moravia


May 24, 2016
Moravia v UNAN
Saprissa v Pares

May 25, 2016
Pares v Universidad

May 26, 2016
UNIFUT v Moravia
Universidad v Saprissa


May 28, 2016
SF1: Group B winner v Group A runner-up
SF2: Group A winner v Group B runner-up


May 29, 2016
SF1 winner v SF2 winner

Cricket Anyone / R.I.P. Tony Cozier
« on: May 11, 2016, 09:50:21 AM »
Barbados radio station VOB just interrupted its programming to announce the passing of Tony Cozier.

Football / F5WC
« on: March 03, 2016, 11:48:05 AM »

Anyone familiar with this? An acquaintance just sent photos from Thailand. He dey with a squad. Seems like an event made for Trinbagonians!

Football / Your serve
« on: February 02, 2016, 10:57:39 PM »
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Football / Ah "Bess" Goals Thread (Foreign)
« on: October 28, 2015, 04:34:52 PM »
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Shunsuke Nakamura playing for Japan v. Oman. Wicked! use of a 'tres dedos' (three toes).

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Luke Medley @ 0:20 for Bradford v. Wrexham on debut.

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Peru's Andres Mendoza v Ecuador. One of the best consolation goals ever.

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