Temas Especiales

16 de Apr de 2021


Short takes on life at number nine

The other day I was getting some chicken and Cajun fries in Paitilla and in line ahead of me there were these two provocatively dressed,...

The other day I was getting some chicken and Cajun fries in Paitilla and in line ahead of me there were these two provocatively dressed, stunningly beautiful young women, speaking what seemed to me to be Colombian Spanish. At a second glance, their attire was all the more remarkable because around their ankles, each wore an electronic tether. So were they out on bail, or is this another management technique in a prostitution business that has many things in common with slavery?

Salvador Rodríguez flushed a figurative M-80 down the toilet on his last day in school and Lucy Molinar passed her first pop quiz before starting classes. The outgoing education minister fired union leader Andrés Rodríguez from his job teaching high school art classes in Colon, prompting an immediate strike threat from the educators' unions.

Molinar said that the firing was senseless, except as a trap for the unions to fall into, and that she'd deal with the problem in her first day on the job. So am I relieved to see the last of Salvador Rodríguez for awhile? Actually, in the months and years to come I would like to see him in another public role, accounting for the school renovation contract scandals on his shift.

I woke up early on Inauguration Day in San Carlos. There's a little house next door that's owned by an elderly couple who never use it, and once again someone cut the fence, drove in with their boom truck and set up for their party. The blasting started at about 4:30 a.m.

I'm not holding my breath, but some day we may get a worthy government disposed to crush the car alarm and boom truck industries by prohibiting the importation and sale of the noisemakers and suppressing the abuse of such devices now in circulation.

The police could do much better than car alarms by offering lo-jack installation and service at cost. They also wouldn't lose money if they impounded vehicles used to violate existing noise laws and charged an appropriate ransom for their return -- minus the loud devices.

We shall see how long the regime set up by the coup in Honduras lasts. But notice a few things, starting with how Ricardo Martinelli has avoided criticism of the coup. That puts him at odds with the House, and with conservative governments in Canada, Mexico and Colombia. Notice that under Manuel Zelaya , Honduras joined both CAFTA and ALBA, regional trade alliances promoted by George W. Bush and Hugo Chávez respectively. Right-wing US politicians and pundits have their usual casts of villains, but the key to understanding Zelaya is recognition of a regional trend wherein Latin American countries look first to one another rather than the United States to solve the problems that the former have in common. This trend is likely to continue.

Panama is not obsessed with race like the United States is , but we have racism here and our stark class differences have a racial component to them.

A black kid who grew up in Calidonia and went on to get his PhD from Columbia and become a department head in New York's City University of New York system, Dr. George Priestley , has passed away. His works documenting uncomfortable racial, economic and political realities about Panama should not be forgotten.