Temas Especiales

01 de Mar de 2021


It was a famous victory... Southey

The gathering I attended in Paitilla was a multinational event, and included Panamanians, British, Canadians and of course Americans. Al...

The gathering I attended in Paitilla was a multinational event, and included Panamanians, British, Canadians and of course Americans. All were transfixed as the results came in.

All, after months of studying electoral maps on TV, were knowledgeable about the number of electoral votes provided by each state. They were familiar with the talking heads that have filled the screens night after night, and through the day. (Do they ever sleep, or are they charged by the Energizer Bunny?) Many could quote the advertisements pushing health plans, and a score of medical products that block the screens in between prognostications by the pundits. The drug companies might have benefited from some of the comments from this independent and unpaid focus group.

“When they reel off the side effects of some of the drugs, the original complaint seems like nothing” was one pointed aside.

That said, it was an evening to be savored and remembered and all shared in the joy of witnessing a historical moment.

Obama’s victory speech was roundly applauded and admired, with its rallying call for unity and all working for change, from the bottom up.

Time will tell, but the U.S. has taken one more “small step for mankind”, and for itself, by providing the world with a real example of the American dream coming true.

Those who attacked Obama as elitist, in the early days of the campaign, should wake up and face reality. If rising from a humble background, becoming an outstanding student, and now the leader in waiting of the most powerful national in the world is elitist, then we should all strive to join the club.

FREE TRADE. What does the Obama victory mean to Panama’s hopes of a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.? Don’t hold your breath. Our legislators had an opportunity for a quick ratification in the early days of the negotiations, but then flew in the face of their own expressed desires, by appointing as leader of the National Assembly, a man wanted in the United States, for the killing of an American soldier? That may turn out to be a genuine example of opportunity lost.

THE DARK SIDE OF LIGHT. Reducing lighting costs and reducing global warming by using energy efficient bulbs, which not only reduce your electricity bills, but also give out less heat. So using the bulbs would seem to be a worthwhile endeavor, and a feel good project. But whenever there is a light, somewhere there is a shadow. Stories are appearing claiming that research shows that people should not face prolonged exposure to the new bulbs, which might cause health problems.

Now we have been told that the bulbs on sale in Panama, and soon to be distributed free to every home, are a potential fire danger (see page one) and engineers have asked the government to check the quality of the bulbs.

That brings me to a personal note. One of the USPs (unique selling propositions) of the bulbs is that although they cost more you will recoup the extra cost in two ways, lower bills and long life.... up to five years. I recently moved into a new apartment, and fitted every lighting outlet with new bulbs. After 12 weeks, five bulbs have expired.