Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A most profound priest - Father Harvey on the Soca Warriors

This is so important to note. He has hit the nail on the head.

A nation of Soca Warriors
Clyde Harvey

Tuesday, November 22nd 2005

Congratulations to Team TnT! Congratulations, Soca Warriors! Thanks to Jack Warner and Coach Beenhakker for their unswerving commitment to bringing us where we are! I join the people of Trinidad and Tobago in saluting your success thus far on the road to Germany! The nation is at your feet, on the road to Germany.

On Thursday morning as I prepared for Morning Prayer and Mass, I was struck by the reading of the day, read that day in Catholic churches throughout the world. It was from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, vv 41-44.

Did we recognise the opportunity that God was offering us at this moment?
Where will the road to Germany and beyond actually lead us as a nation and as individuals?

Already we are talking about honours and rewards. We forget what a crisis early adulation created for Brian Lara.

One temptation of the next six months will be to do everything necessary to get as many people as possible to Germany to support the team. At home, we will seek to give the team everything they need. People will want to meet them whenever possible, to affirm and encourage them in all kinds of ways.
Companies will not miss the advertisement opportunities, the presence (use?) of the team being one of the conditions for sponsorship. Indeed, some are already plotting about how best and easiest to make millions out of this golden opportunity.

What must happen? International football for the player is about skill, discipline and focused hard work. If we are not to become an angry and
disappointed nation, the Soca Warriors must become the hardest working group of skilled and disciplined men in the nation. In other words, for them fete must done, except as an occasional outlet for steam.

Was that the message we sent them on Thursday? Or were we saying to them, "No matter how tired you may be, we want a piece of you and we will have it." How many of those players felt real resentment and anger for what they were being put through on Thursday? Only their families will know how they really felt about that.

Support for Team TnT should mean that we all become a nation of Soca Warriors. For the team, to be a Soca Warrior must mean to be a person of
skill, discipline and hard work, with that capacity to laugh at oneself which is a mark of a true Trini.

Who will devise a programme for the nation over the next six months which will ask every man and woman to become a person of skill (whatever your skill may be), discipline and hard work? Who will think out of the current box of money and fete and seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to
really turn this country around? Who will look beyond political mileage and rise to the non-partisan requirements of the moment? What images will the media offer us? Will we demand certain standards of those who proudly were a jersey proclaiming "I am a Soca Warrior!"? Right now as I type the words, it is the jump-up tune that echoes in my head. Can that be tied to something more and made to work for the upliftment of the country?

Much has been said about this victory affecting crime in the country. What will be the headlines next Thursday? Will we be back to crime again?
Remember Jamaica! Jamaica went to the World Cup.
The Reggae Boys won the hearts of many with the level of their football and their rhythms. Hopefully we will do the same or better. Then what? Jamaica came home. The murder rate went past the 1000 mark and some of those same Reggae Boys are back in Kingston's ghettos. Little changed.

Now is the time to invest the term Soca Warrior with a whole new and deeper meaning, especially for the young men of our nation. It is a wonderfully masculine term. Let us aim to gather 100,000 Soca Warriors in the National Stadium in May 2006-all of them having lived lives of honed skill, discipline and hard work over the previous months. Let every school and firm in the country use these values and virtues to choose its own representative Soca Warrior for a national pre-Germany Festival of Excellence.

We should not be thinking about National Awards now. Whatever happens in Germany, Jack Warner should get a Trinity Cross or its equivalent for his achievement with football and his now legendary personal generosity to worthy causes. But not now! By the time June comes, if we use this
opportunity, we will discover other people worthy of awards who will have helped to win for this country a victory which, win or lose in Germany, can usher in a Day of Peace for Trinidad and Tobago. Will we recognise the opportunity which God offers us?

Fr Clyde Harvey is a Roman Catholic priest.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Secretary-General of Reporters without Borders denied entry into Tunisia

In French only below, but basically, despite being accredited to the WSIS - the Secretary General of teh International organisation has been denied a visa to enter the country hosting the Summit.

> Reporters sans fronti�res
> Communiqu� de presse
> 10 novembre 2005
> Robert M�nard, interdit d'entr�e au SMSI � Tunis
> Robert M�nard, secr�taire g�n�ral de Reporters sans fronti�res,
> s'est vu notifier, dans un courrier adress� le 10 novembre 2005 par
> la direction ex�cutive du Sommet mondial sur la soci�t� de
> l'information (SMSI), que les autorit�s tunisiennes s'opposaient �
> son entr�e dans le pays � l'occasion de ce sommet.
> "Interdire l'acc�s d'un responsable d'une organisation de d�fense
> de la libert� d'expression � un sommet d�di� � la soci�t� de
> l'information est tout simplement absurde et inacceptable, a
> d�clar� Reporters sans fronti�res. Nous demandons aux Nations unies
> et � l'Union internationale des t�l�communications (UIT), qui
> organise ce sommet, de condamner publiquement cette d�cision des
> autorit�s tunisiennes et de tout faire pour permettre � Robert
> M�nard d'assister � cet �v�nement. Nous vous rappelons que notre
> organisation dispose d'un statut consultatif aupr�s du Conseil
> �conomique et social des Nations unies".
> "Toute cette affaire montre le niveau de tol�rance et l'esprit
> d'ouverture du gouvernement tunisien. Ce sommet est, d'ores et
> d�j�, une mascarade. La libert� d'expression sera la grande absente
> de cette conf�rence", a ajout� l'organisation.
> Dans un courrier re�u au si�ge de Reporters sans fronti�res, �
> Paris, le 10 novembre, Charles Geiger, directeur ex�cutif du SMSI a
> �crit : "Je me dois de vous informer que l'UIT s'est vu notifier le
> 9 novembre 2005 par note verbale de la Mission permanente de
> Tunisie l'information suivante : "L'instruction de la plainte �
> l'encontre de M. Robert M�nard d�pos�e aupr�s du Procureur de la
> R�publique � Tunis, sous le num�ro 7062269/2002, en date du 9
> juillet 2002, est toujours en cours. De ce fait, M. Robert M�nard
> ne peut juridiquement pr�tendre entrer en Tunisie qu'� la
> convocation de l'instance judiciaire en charge de cette affaire."
> En ma qualit� de directeur ex�cutif du SMSI, je crois de mon devoir
> de porter cette information � votre connaissance."
> La Tunisie accueille, du 16 au 18 novembre 2005, la deuxi�me phase
> du SMSI.

Tunisian Teachers Strike to Protest Shalom�s Visit

Gmail - [WSIS CS-Plenary] Tunisian Teachers Strike to Protest Shalom�s Visit
So it has started.
TUNIS, October 24, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) � Tunisian high and preliminary school teachers will stage a strike on November 10 to protest a planned visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom to the country to attend the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

"The strike comes to protest normalization of ties with the Zionist entity," the country�s Syndicate of Teachers said in a statement issued Sunday, October 23, reported the London-based Al-Quds Press news agency.

Tunisia has invited some 100 government leaders including, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who accepted the invitation but it is not clear yet whether he would lead the Israeli delegation to the two-day summit, due to start on November 16.

"We condemn the open-arms policy of the Tunisian government with the Zionists," said the statement.

"Our pleas to retract invitations to the Israeli officials have fell on deaf ears."

The Tunisian opposition warned the government of a "public uprising" if it did not retract the Sharon invitation.

Zakaat, the Muslimeen and the police

So, the police have arrested Abu Bakr after his speech threatening Muslims in the country - if htey didn't pay zakaat to HIS mosque, "blood would run in the streets"
And then they raided the mosque/office and found guns, ammunition, grenades and a tunnel that I hear was close to the Stadium! This, one day before the HUGE football match against Bahrain.
According to the Trinidad Express - Police found a sniper rifle with a telescope, 700 rounds of ammunition including 500 rounds of 5.56 mm, a hand grenade and communication devices at the Mucurapo Road complex.
So he's been charged on 4 counts - three for inciting extortion and one for sedition. He was denied bail, and faces penalities as follows:
The sedition charge carries a maximum penality of a $25,000 fine and five years imprisonment; the two inciting to demand property charges carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment each; and inciting the breach of peace by collecting zakaat charge carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
So - finally we might be able to imprison this man who has been running around the country free after leading a coup attempt in 1990, getting off on 2 conspiracy to commit murder charges, and building a private army and alternate government.
Let's hope!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Beware a 'Digital Munich'

So - A US Senator from one of those RED RED States decided to write a diatribe against the UN taking over the Internet, notwithstanding that there is ABSOLUTELY no proposal on the table at this time to do so...

Why agitate so about this chimera of UN control of the Internet? Why is it so long-lived in the face of ALL evidence to the contrary?

WHat is the agenda? To get the domestic US opinion so riled up about the possibility (which is not likely at all, and has not been seriously broached) that they back the short-sighted and narrow minded approach of no internationalisation AT ALL?

He's suggesting that laws be passed? to prevent this terrible movement. (BTW - did I say already it doesn't really exist?)

By his actions he is the one politicizing the governance of the Internet. He's the one who is making it into a political football. This is why I want ALL governments to get their grubby hands off my Internet. But if I can't, then lets have them all watching each other so that not a one gets to put their hands on it!

And SHAME to say that the delegates involved in WSIS are not paying attention to the digital divide. It's the focus on US$100 laptops that distracts from technology that can be used by people earning USD100 per YEAR, that runs on solar power because there is no reliable electricity, etc.

Makes me wonder where he was for the past 3 years while so many have discussed and argued and tried to come up with solutions.

November 7, 2005; Page A21

It sounds like a Tom Clancy plot. An anonymous group of international technocrats holds secretive meetings in Geneva. Their cover story: devising a blueprint to help the developing world more fully participate in the digital revolution. Their real mission: strategizing to take over management of the Internet from the U.S. and enable the United Nations to dominate and politicize the World Wide Web. Does it sound too bizarre to be true? Regrettably, much of what emanates these days from the U.N. does.

The Internet faces a grave threat. We must defend it. We need to preserve this unprecedented communications and informational medium, which fosters freedom and enterprise. We can not allow the U.N. to control the Internet.

The threat is posed by the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society taking place later this month in Tunisia. At the WSIS preparatory meeting weeks ago, it became apparent that the agenda had been transformed. Instead of discussing how to place $100 laptops in the hands of the world's children, the delegates schemed to transfer Internet control into the hands of intrigue-plagued bureaucracies.

The low point of that planning session was the European Union's shameful endorsement of a plan favored by China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cuba that would terminate the historic U.S. role in Internet government oversight, relegate both private enterprise and non-governmental organizations to the sidelines, and place a U.N.-dominated group in charge of the Internet's operation and future. The EU's declaration was a "political coup," according to London's Guardian newspaper, which predicted that once the world's governments awarded themselves control of the Internet, the U.S. would be able to do little but acquiesce.

I disagree. Such acquiescence would amount to appeasement. We cannot allow Tunis to become a digital Munich.

There is no rational justification for politicizing Internet governance within a U.N. framework. The chairman of the WSIS Internet Governance Subcommittee himself recently affirmed that existing Internet governance arrangements "have worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically diverse medium it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day operations, and with innovation and value creation at the edges."

Nor is there a rational basis for the anti-U.S. resentment driving the proposal. The history of the U.S. government's Internet involvement has been one of relinquishing control. Rooted in a Defense Department project of the 1960s, the Internet was transferred to civilian hands and then opened to commerce by the National Science Foundation in 1995. Three years later, the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers assumed governance responsibility under Department of Commerce oversight. Icann, with its international work force and active Governmental Advisory Committee, is scheduled to be fully privatized next year. Privatization, not politicization, is the right Internet governance regime.

We do not stand alone in our pursuit of that goal. The majority of European telecommunications companies have already dissented from the EU's Geneva announcement, with one executive pronouncing it "a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it was disturbing."

In addition to resentment of U.S. technological leadership, proponents of politicization are driven by fear -- of access to full and accurate information, and of the opportunity for legitimate political discourse and organization, provided by the Internet. Nations like China, which are behind the U.N. plan to take control, censor their citizens' Web sites, and monitor emails and chat rooms to stifle legitimate political dissent. U.N. control would shield this kind of activity from scrutiny and criticism.

The U.S. must do more to advance the values of an open Internet in our broader trade and diplomatic conversations. We cannot expect U.S. high-tech companies seeking business opportunities in growing markets to defy official policy; yet we cannot stand idly by as some governments seek to make the Internet an instrument of censorship and political suppression. To those nations that seek to wall off their populations from information and dialogue we must say, as Ronald Reagan said in Berlin, "Tear down this wall."

Allowing Internet governance to be politicized under U.N. auspices would raise a variety of dangers. First, it is wantonly irresponsible to tolerate any expansion of the U.N.'s portfolio before that abysmally managed and sometimes-corrupt institution undertakes sweeping, overdue reform. It would be equal folly to let Icann be displaced by the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union, a regulatory redoubt for those state telephone monopolies most threatened by the voice over Internet protocol revolution.

Also, as we expand the global digital economy, the stability and reliability of the Internet becomes a matter of security. Technical minutiae have profound implications for competition and trade, democratization, free expression and access to information, privacy and intellectual-property protection.

Responding to the present danger, I have initiated a Sense of the Senate Resolution that supports the four governance principles articulated by the administration on June 30:
* Preservation of the security and stability of the Internet domain name and addressing system (DNS).
* Recognition of the legitimate interest of governments in managing their own country code top-level domains.
* Support for Icann as the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.
* Participation in continuing dialogue on Internet governance, with continued support for market-based approaches toward, and private-sector leadership of, its further evolution.

I also intend to seek hearings in advance of the Tunis Summit to explore the implications of multinational politicization of Internet governance. While Tunis marks the end of the WSIS process, it is just the beginning of a long, multinational debate on the values that the Internet will incorporate and foster. Our responsibility is to safeguard the full potential of the new information society that the Internet has brought into being.
Mr. Coleman is a Republican senator from Minnesota.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Political Oversight of ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit

The Internet Governance Project releases a new paper clarifying the controversies around "oversight" of ICANN.
They explain why WSIS must separate discussion of governments' role in setting policy for all Internet issues from discussion of the narrower problem of ICANN's oversight. This is such an important distinction. WGIG tried to do the same, with the division of larger publiuc policy issues in the Forum and Domain name nad numbering in the "Models" but this distinction got lost in the larger controversy.

An analysis of the contractual instruments used by the U.S. to supervise ICANN shows how the problem of U.S. unilateral oversight can be addressed in a way that is both politically feasible and avoids threatening the stability or freedom of the Internet.

The paper can be downloaded here:

ICANN Reform: Establishing the Rule of Law

ICANN Reform: Establishing the Rule of Law a new paper from Dr. Hans Klein of Georgia Tech opens up another view of the curent IG impasse.

The U.N. Isn't a Threat to the Net

Sec Gen Kofi Annan has finally decided to set the record straight about the nefarious UN plans to "take over" the Internet!
As I've been saying for ages - WGIG never suggested that the UN take it over. Most of the proposals now on the table do NOT suggest UN control. All suggest no US UNILATERAL control. Unilateral is the serious issue here. So, the ideas range from no governmental control at all to a totally government-led oversight role (something along the lines of the UN Security Council, maybe)
So, as I have said many a time, my preferred solution (also along the lines of the IGP proposal out of Syracuse U) is for an independent ICANN, with no government oversight at all with regard to domain names and numbers, and an intergovernmental and multistakeholder forum for other public policy issues.

The new Board of Directors of IGovTT

The new Board of Directors of  IGovTT  was presented with congratulatory letters by The Honourable Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Public Admini...