Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2015 Contents A
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A fatigued Wal-Mart truck driver failed
to slow down despite a warning and was
responsible for a highway crash last year
that severely injured comedian Tracy
Morgan and killed another comedian, the
National Transportation Safety Board
said Tuesday. However, the board also
said the failure of Morgan and other
passengers riding in a limousine-van to
wear seatbelts and adjusted headrests
contributed to the severity of injuries
when the limo was struck by the truck.
The safety board has long raised
concerns about operator fatigue leading
to accidents across all modes of
transportation, from airline pilots to train
engineers. Investigators said that the
driver, Kevin Roper could have prevented
the June 7, 2014 crash if he had slowed to
45 mph, the posted speed limit for the
construction work zone on the New
Jersey Turnpike where the crash
They said the truck struck the rear of
the limo at a higher speed, starting a
chain reaction crash that affected 21
people in six vehicles.
Roper had driven more than 800 miles
from Georgia to a Wal-Mart distribution
center in Delaware to pick up a load
before starting the trip.
Morgan, a former Saturday Night Live
and 30 Rock star, and the others were
returning from a show in Delaware. (AP)
They could be stand-up tents
or freak shows, but there s
just too much bacchanal and
lacaray and the people of the
nation still don t know what are
the possible solutions to the many
social problems they re facing.
That was the view of a political
analyst and an independent jour-
nalist on the quality of political ral-
lies for the September 7 election.
Political analyst Indera Sagewan-
Alli believes there is just too much
old talk and the content of speeches
made by politicians from the plat-
form are distasteful and at many
In an interview with Sagewan-
Alli, she said political picong was
part of our culture and had an
important role if used tastefully and
subtly, but our current politicians
lack the art of doing so.
She said the older politicians were
masters in the effective use of this
tool as a means of keeping listeners
attentively amused in-between the
delivery of hard content.
"Unfortunately picong has
degenerated into vile, bilious, some-
times downright obscene utter-
"What s worse is that it is now
the dominant content delivery with
serious issues interspersed on the
rare occasion. This in my view is
insulting to a politically maturing
electorate, more so to our young
and impressionable listeners. Old
talk, character vilification and
insulting props cannot be the basis
on which we decide who to vote
for. Even those blindly faithful to
the colour of T-shirts must demand
better," Sagewan-Alli said.
She believes the bar must be
raised and if the political leaders
cannot do so, then the people must
Sagewan-Alli said all national
elections are important, but this
one is more so because of the harsh
economic realities the next govern-
ment will face.
"When we do hear issues, it s all
about lavish spending and com-
mitments to continued transfers
and subsidies. We need to hear
where the revenue to pay for these
expenditures will come from. We
need to hear how private healthcare
will be made more affordable given
that the public healthcare system
is inadequate to the task."
Sagewan-Alli, who is also an
economist, believes what s impor-
tant to the people of this nation is
having a better understanding of
how the next government intends
to reform the education system to
cater to the 66 per cent it is cur-
rently failing. How will it be
reformed to create critical thinkers
and problem solvers rather
than blind followers? How will
Gate, old-age pension, baby grant,
Cepep, URP, be sustained if the oil
price continues to drop?
What about crime and economic
diversification, she asked.
"These are some of the issues
which should monopolise the plat-
form offerings. It s not a party, this
is serious business, it needs to
be treated as such by aspirant
national leaders," Sagewan-Alli said.
Independent journalist Wesley
Gibbings echoed similar sentiments,
saying too much time was wasted
on the platform on picong and
comess and the real issues were
Gibbings added, coming from the
political platforms there was also a
coded language that can have the
impact of promoting prejudice.
"I have witnessed elections in
other parts of the Caribbean where
some of the utterances from our
Politicians, please come better than that...
RALLY AROUND THE ISSUES
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the warpath at a People's Partnership rally. Both the Government
and the Opposition have been accused of keeping the discussion at the level of bacchanal, and
have barely discussed the issues.
The PNM faithful at a recent rally where they lapped up the old talk and picong from the
speakers on the podium.
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Continues on Page A30
Driver fatigue cited as cause of crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan
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