Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2014 Contents PITCHING IN
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Your Excellency Mr President,
the ship is sinking fast. It is
being tossed to and fro by fero-
cious waves, pounded by torrential
rains. Lightning, together with
frightening peals of thunder, criss-
crosses the skies.
Mr President, this is T&T as we
rush headlong to destruction under a
raving dictatorship. Our constitution
is being torn apart. We will be bru-
talised by members of the armed
forces if we protest. The ordinary
man is not allowed to comment.
Only weak and ineffectual versions
of the true state affairs are allowed
airplay by the media. Corruption is
the way of doing things. Bribery is
the means by which corrupt things
are done. Justice is one-sided, and
not blind. There is inequality in
everything---in housing, in education,
in job opportunities, in the develop-
ment of geographic areas, and even
in bringing wrongdoers before the
Mr President, it has been predes-
tined that you are in your present
capacity at this time. You have been
chosen from birth to bring this sink-
ing ship into calm waters, and safely
to shore. Your presidency is the work
of God, and not a gift from the
You must not feel obligated to
anyone to the extent where you
determine wrong is right. You can-
not adopt the position of Pontius
Pilate who felt more obligated to
Rome than justice. Mr President you
cannot assent to the unconstitutional
Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Mr President we know that one of
the powers that you have is not to
assent to the ignominious bill. Do
not allow yourself to get sidetracked
by other issues surrounding the bill.
The main and only issue is that the
population was not consulted on the
runoff polls. This is worth indefati-
gable repetition. We were not con-
sulted! We do not want it!
Mr President, 52 years ago, we the
people stood proud and at attention
when our national flag was raised
and our national anthem sung. We
were going into independence to be
governed by a constitution which
had national and political consensus.
This is the prerequisite of any con-
stitution. Mr President, you have it
in your power to keep it that way.
Sir, when that document is
brought before you, you must pause
for a very long while. Since no con-
sultation was done, it is now up to
you sir to pursue your own consul-
tation. We the people await your call
to consultations across the country.
Iwas pleasantly surprised to learn that
the Ministry of Education recently refur-
bished our secondary schools' science
labs during the past July-August vaca-
I was disappointed to learn that the
material used was MDF. Wikipedia re-
veals that MDF (Medium Density Fibre)
has urea-formaldehyde within its struc-
Formaldehyde is also known as forma-
lin which was once used to embalm the
dead and preserve specimens such as
frogs or fish. It was used as a protein fixa-
tive so muscle tissue remained intact, and
allowed specimens to have a long shelf-
life. As scientific research progressed
over the years, there was definite correla-
tion between formalin exposure and can-
cers in humans.
Canadian studies revealed that forma-
lin is linked with reproductive disorders in
women. It may cause spontaneous abor-
tions, abnormal menses in women as well
as respiratory cancers in both sexes.
Studies in the US have indicated that
the highest concentration of formalin oc-
curs in MDF, one of the main ingredients
used in the construction industry. MDF-
formalin is the main ingredient in indoor
pollutants. Insulative foam containing for-
malin has been directly linked to inci-
dences of respiratory cancers in some
Our job as educators is to teach and
learn with our students. Science is a dy-
namic subject. Research continuously
churns out new facts and evidence that
may overturn some old theories. It con-
tinuously evolves. As we learn from our
mistakes from the past, we ought to
progress along more positive routes.
Repeated exposure to formalin does
not confer immunity, on the contrary, it
increases sensitivity to it. Simply entering
a room where there are formalin fumes
can make your eyes water, making your
nose, throat and chest, burn in irritation.
Children are more sensitive than adults.
Some of our children already suffer with
asthma, allergies and sinusitis. Formalin is
not a good additive to their health.
As educators, we have a legal obliga-
tion to our students to administer due
care to our charges.
Knowing that all of our science labs
are outfitted with MDF do we really want
our children exposed to this threat? Is
this legally and morally acceptable?
These carcinogenic cupboards and coun-
tertops must be removed promptly and
replaced with natural wood.
Unlike MDF, natural wood is water-
proof and environmentally safe. Hard-
wood lumber such as teak, mahogany or
cedar can be used. They contain bitter
sap which is unpalatable to termites. This
ensures their durability. If they are not
available due to financial constraints, per-
haps a cheaper alternative, such as pitch-
pine, can be used.
Make informed decisions today to en-
sure a healthy future, tomorrow.
Why a baby fund for young
mothers, Madam Prime Min-
ister, when they can go out and find
a job? So many young mothers are
already getting welfare and public
assistance, and now a $500 dollar
baby fund for a year? This is pre-
This will encourage more laziness
and dependency on the state. If
these young women will get up and
look for employment they will be
able to pay NIS and get their mater-
The maternity grant is over
$2,000, so why a $500 dollar baby
To be employed is the solution to
the problem, not to be dependant
on the system to take care of them-
selves and their children. There are
lots of vacant positions all over the
place, if these young women really
seek they will find employment.
But as long as the state encour-
ages them in this kind of quick-fix
behaviour, they will never want to
look for employment because they
are getting money easy.
They will always prefer hand outs
to a job.
Imagine some of these women
are not working a place but they
have the longest weave, the latest
outfit, and the most pretty nails,
and now an additional $500. To do
what---buy sneakers for the baby-
Why not take that $500 and in-
vest it in some kind of training pro-
gramme for these young women so
they will be better off in society and
equipped to face the job market.
section of the
tour of the
the new term.
MR PRESIDENT, DO NOT
ASSENT TO 'RUNOFF' BILL
Let them get up and get jobs
Silent killer lurking in our science labs
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