Talking iPINIONS
Episode 42: Assassination of President Jovenel Moïse: Wither Haiti…

Episode 42: Assassination of President Jovenel Moïse: Wither Haiti…

July 24, 2021

Haiti was the first Black independent nation in the new world. Therefore, you might have expected a who’s who of Blacks worldwide to be among those attending the funeral of its assassinated president, Jovenel Moïse, in Cap-Haïtien yesterday. This, just as a who’s who of whites were among those who attended the funeral of America’s assassinated president, John F. Kennedy, in Washington, DC, in 1963.

Yet it’s a reflection of how marginalized and disrespected Haiti has become that you’d have been hard-pressed to recognize a single face among any of the foreign delegations. Indeed, it speaks volumes that America thought the occasion only warranted its relatively unknown US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, leading a delegation of even lesser knowns to show its respects.

Even so, nothing justified this universal snub quite like the attendees having to flee for their lives less than an hour into the funeral service when gunfire erupted outside the church. The US delegation made a beeline for the airport, leaving Haitians to the funereal devices that now govern their way of life.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  25 min   05 sec 

Episode 41: Japan Bans All Spectators at Tokyo Olympics?  Oh, the Irony…

Episode 41: Japan Bans All Spectators at Tokyo Olympics? Oh, the Irony…

July 17, 2021

Augusta National shrewdly trademarked Jim Nantz’s famous  phrase “a tradition unlike any other” to hail the annual Masters golf tournament. But there’s no denying that the quadrennial Olympics is far more worthy of that praise.

The problem is that so much civil unrest and public debt have occasioned the modern Olympics that host cities invariably end up feeling like the giddy teenager who partied too much, and woke up with an olympian hangover.

No doubt we all remember the protests that scarred the 2016 Rio Olympics. But Brazilians could point to the poisoned chalice the 2004 Athens Olympics turned out to be for the Greeks. After all, the debt hangover from those Games not only triggered the EU financial crisis of 2010, but austerity measures to service that debt have many once-proud, middle-class Greeks now living like favela-dwelling Brazilians.

Alas, measure for measure, Covid-19 seems bound to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics … unlike any other in this respect.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  25 min 

Episode 40:  Happy Independence Day, My Bahamaland

Episode 40: Happy Independence Day, My Bahamaland

July 10, 2021

We are independent. But it seems we just don’t know how to quit the British. And I find that very vexing … indeed.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  8 min 29 sec

Episode 39: Welcome Back Cruise Passengers. But No Gays and Lesbians Please…? WTF!

Episode 39: Welcome Back Cruise Passengers. But No Gays and Lesbians Please…? WTF!

July 3, 2021

President Bill Clinton first declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999. Since then, despite the official interregnum of the Bush and Trump years, the LGBTQ community have used that declaration to celebrate their increasing liberation. And most notable are gay pride parades and cruise trips that make Mardi Gras and “The Love Boat” look tame, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, their liberation has not been welcomed universally. Alas, nowhere less so than where I hail from down in the Caribbean, where locals gained infamy for greeting gay cruise ships as if there were carrying a mix of latter-day conquistadors and lepers.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  19 min 27 sec

Episode 38: PSA: Cigarettes Worse than Plastics? Hail, Wangari Maathai!

Episode 38: PSA: Cigarettes Worse than Plastics? Hail, Wangari Maathai!

June 26, 2021

It is self-evident that smoking cigarettes is far more hazardous to your health than drinking alcohol. But America’s ill-fated attempt to prohibit drinking means it will never attempt to prohibit smoking.

Yet, smoking has become variously illegal and taboo in so many places, smokers must be experiencing what life was like for drinkers during Prohibition. But you need only look at the way cigarette litter competes with plastic debris – everywhere from sidewalks to coral reefs – to know that the absence of smoke does not mean the absence of smokers. And too often their hazards manifest in the wildfires their cigarette butts ignite.

This is why the planting-trees initiatives Nobel Laureate Wangarai Maathai pioneered remains necessary to help us breathe in so many respects.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  15 min 07 sec

Episode 37: Pentagon Papers at 50 re Afghanistan (Trump, Orwell, Carlson, and Race?)

Episode 37: Pentagon Papers at 50 re Afghanistan (Trump, Orwell, Carlson, and Race?)

June 19, 2021

Revelations in the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War gave Americans just cause to distrust their government like never before. But then came, among other things, Watergate, Iran Contra, WMDs, and, coming full circle, the “Afghanistan Papers.”

Nevertheless, no amount of cynicism could have prepared any American for the distrust former President Trump caused every time he opened his mouth. But then came, among other things, revelations in Bob Woodward’s book about Covid-19. Because they gave Americans just cause to believe the man was a genocidal megalomaniac and government officials little more than his kakistocratic flunkies.

Yet, remarkably, instead of being treated like a pariah from sea to shining sea, millions of Americans treat him variously like a cult leader and a de-facto president of the United States.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  27 min 49 sec

Episode 36: Online Comments and the Fate of Democracy

Episode 36: Online Comments and the Fate of Democracy

June 12, 2021

Nothing reflects the fracturing of democracy and erosion of civil society quite like political debate on Cable TV; nothing that is, except the comments section on most news and social-media sites.

It is truly a remarkable thing to witness people – who speak the same language – become utterly incomprehensible to each other. And the funny, sad, and ominous thing is that the key to understanding in each case is being in a Republican or Democratic echo chamber – that now defines and reinforces partisan views on everything from abortion to sports.

I’d say Americans would be well-advised to learn from the Babylonians – who got too big for their britches with their Tower of Babel, or from the Romans – who bit off more than they could chew with their hegemonic empire. But the forces conspiring to test the fate of democracy are so unique that nothing compares. So, with a Civil War II looming, I can only say God help America.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  27 min 10 sec

Episode 35: Mickelson Is Golf’s Oldest Champion, But He’s No Tiger

Episode 35: Mickelson Is Golf’s Oldest Champion, But He’s No Tiger

June 5, 2021

It seemed the whole wide world of sports was cheering for Phil Mickelson to win the recent PGA Championship. But I don’t mind admitting that I was also thinking about Tiger Woods. Remember him…?

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  12 min 18 sec

Episode 34: Apple Is the Apple of China’s Eye on Its Citizens

Episode 34: Apple Is the Apple of China’s Eye on Its Citizens

May 29, 2021

It’s a curious thing to see corporations like Apple defiantly champion civil liberties in America only to obediently help government authorities squash them in China. But that is precisely what they’ve been doing for decades without any hint of compunction or hypocrisy.

Yet what is truly remarkable is that those corporations can credibly assert that they are only following down the primrose path the US government set in its dealings with China. In other words, it’s not just US corporations but the government itself that is continually bending over backwards to do business with China on its terms.

Is it any wonder, then, that China is telegraphing its intent to wield the kind of power and influence throughout the twenty-first century that America wielded throughout the twentieth - only with a decidedly autocratic style?

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  28 min 58 sec

Episode 33: Biden’s Foreign Policy ‘A-Team’ Is Failing Him

Episode 33: Biden’s Foreign Policy ‘A-Team’ Is Failing Him

May 15, 2021

Truth be told, Joe Biden couldn’t do worse on the foreign policy front than Donald Trump if he tried. As it happened, though, he practically cured all the damage  Trump’s policies caused by signing a series of Executive Orders during his first days in office.

For a foreign policy team hailed as the best in decades, however, there have been some surprising errors – of commission and omission.

Contact:

anthonyhall279@gmail.com
www.ipjn.com

Length:  33 min 11 sec

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