161 episodes

Listen to people who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas around the world, in conversation with Dr. Kirk Meighoo, author, academic, TV host, and former Independent Senator.Broadcasting from the Caribbean, Meighoo provides a uniquely global spin and perspective on current issues and controversies.We don't only hear about our guests' ideas and movements. Meighoo also seeks to understand what gives each of these people their freedom to think and express themselves independently, with a view to inspiring listeners as well as stimulating them.

Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom‪)‬ Kirk Meighoo

    • News
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

Listen to people who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas around the world, in conversation with Dr. Kirk Meighoo, author, academic, TV host, and former Independent Senator.Broadcasting from the Caribbean, Meighoo provides a uniquely global spin and perspective on current issues and controversies.We don't only hear about our guests' ideas and movements. Meighoo also seeks to understand what gives each of these people their freedom to think and express themselves independently, with a view to inspiring listeners as well as stimulating them.

    Bitcoin, Blockchain and Small Island Developing States: Opportunities, Challenges and Questions w/ George Siosi Samuels and Daniel Barcant

    Bitcoin, Blockchain and Small Island Developing States: Opportunities, Challenges and Questions w/ George Siosi Samuels and Daniel Barcant

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E10
    streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
    repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
    Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are revolutionary developments that excite, confuse and raise scepticism.
    It goes to the heart of questions like the nature of money, the role of governments and central banks; freedom, privacy and security on the internet and in economics; technology development; the digital divide; asset bubbles; investment scams and pyramid schemes, and so much more.
    From the perspective of developing countries there are many issues that are raised: can this help with our development? does this give us more control over our financing and economics? what exactly is bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain? will this continue to produce and reinforce the divide between the haves and the have-nots? the big and small? the technologically advanced and the technologically underdeveloped?
    Today I have two very interesting guests to speak about these issues and questions from a very practical perspective.
    George Siosi Samuels is originally from Fiji but based in Singapore. He is the Managing Director of management consultancy, Fai?, and founder of blockchain-based accountability platform, Hon?.  His Bitcoin journey began in 2013, he was the Global Head of Community for the Bitcoin Cash Association in 2018, and is now South Pacific Ambassador for the Bitcoin Association.
    Daniel Barcant is an entrepreneur, founder and cofounder of several well known businesses and an NGO, based in Trinidad and Tobago. He is also a blockchain and crypto currency enthusiast. His involvements in the space cover a broad range such as investing, education, mining and exploring utilizing blockchain for impact.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Culture Industry & Digital Technology: From Rihanna, Megadeth, and Mariah Carey to Trinidad Carnival and beyond w/ Akim Millington and Rubadiri Victor

    Culture Industry & Digital Technology: From Rihanna, Megadeth, and Mariah Carey to Trinidad Carnival and beyond w/ Akim Millington and Rubadiri Victor

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E9
    streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
    repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
    The global culture industry is one of the world's most lucrative. Some of the world's largest and most powerful companies operate in this sphere, and it even forms a part of a country's geo-political "soft power".
    At the same time, because it is based on individual human creativity -- and not natural resources, wealth, or size -- there are unique opportunities for outsider individuals, small countries, marginal groups, or otherwise relatively "powerless" people to participate and succeed in this industry.
    Digital technology, as well, although deployed by the most powerful corporations in the world in their massive corporate businesses, also provides a way for individuals, small or marginal populations and even countries, to participate in the very centre.
    The culture industry has been deeply affected by the lockdowns following the covid-19 outbreak, and has made digital technology even more important. In some ways, this may have even levelled the playing field somewhat, and put the largest and smallest producers of culture on a more equal footing.
    This week I am joined by two guests who have fascinating stories and projects in the global culture industry and insights to share.
    Akim Millington is part of the Grammy Award-Winning CEEK Virtual Reality Founding Team, Former New Orleans Saint (NFL) Offensive Lineman, and a BIG XII Champion.  CEEK VR pioneered Virtual Reality technology in entertainment. They have worked with the biggest stars in the music industry, from Bon Jovi, to Rihanna, to Megadeth to Ziggy Marley, Mariah Carey etc.
    Rubadiri Victor is President at Artists' Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT), the lead Creative Industry and Cultural Sector representative organization in T&T. He is also a Multi-Media Artist in film, music, painting, theatre, Mas, photography, writing/publishing, & curating/design.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Hurricane Katrina, ebola, Muslimeen Coup d'état: Coping with National Emergencies Before covid and After w/ Ron Millington and Bhoe Tewarie

    Hurricane Katrina, ebola, Muslimeen Coup d'état: Coping with National Emergencies Before covid and After w/ Ron Millington and Bhoe Tewarie

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E8
    streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
    repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
    For the past 18 months, the world has been dealing with a global pandemic that has caused an unprecedented global shutdown of economic and social activity.
    Although this has been an international emergency which the whole world has had to face, each country has had to face it nationally, in its own way, with its own resources and capabilites. 
    Some countries have had expriences with national disasters of various types in the past: natural, political, economic, military.
    Now is a good time to reflect upon how countries have dealt with these National Emergencies in the past.
    How have these past emergencies compared to the current covid crisis? What lessons can be learned from these past experiences?
    Today we loook at national emergencies which gained international attention: the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in the United States, the 2014-6 ebola crisis in West Africa, and the 1990 Jamaat al-Muslimeen coup d'état in Trinidad and Tobago.
    We are privileged to be joined by Ron Millington from the United States and Dr. Bhoe Tewarie from Trinidad and Tobago.
    Ron Millington served in the U.S. Armed Forces where he received the Global War on Terrorism service Medal and a former Department of Homeland Security Tactical Law Enforcement Officer. He was involved in FEMA's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and also managing the ebola crisis in West Africa.
    Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie is a distinuished academic, educator and politican in Trinidad and Tobago. He was a former Cabinet Minister in two administrations, including in 1990 when a small, radicalised group of insurgents took over Trinidad and Tobago's Parliament for 6 days, held MPs and the Prime Minister hostage, putting the entire country in a state of chaos and uncertainty.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Constitutions of Guyana vs. Trinidad and Tobago: Ethnicity, PR, Democracy and Social Cohesion w/ Ralph Ramkarran and Timothy Hamel-Smith

    Constitutions of Guyana vs. Trinidad and Tobago: Ethnicity, PR, Democracy and Social Cohesion w/ Ralph Ramkarran and Timothy Hamel-Smith

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E7
    streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
    repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
    Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are two Caribbean countries in the Southern Caribbean. They share significant similarities such as being former British colonies, historically dominated by sugar plantations, slavery and indentureship, multi-racial but dominated by descendants of Africans and (Asian) Indians. Both are developing countries that face political, social, economic and other challenges.
    Ethnic-based politics has been prominent in both countries, which has sometimes been problematic in terms of social cohesion and democratic accountability.
    Trinidad and Tobago achieved Independence from the UK in 1962, and Guyana in 1966. However, the constitutions they were left with under British rule were radically different. The electoral system (Proportional Representation vs. First-Past-the-Post) was a major difference. Guyana was firmly caught in the rivalries of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the USA, affecting its development greatly, and largely negatively. Trinidad and Tobago was generally more stable and prosperous, but this may change now that Guyana has a new oil and gas industry that may be among the world's largest, while Trinidad and Tobago's over a century-old oil and gas industry has been facing many years of decline and decay.
    Particularly in Trinidad and Tobago, constitutional reform issues have been on the table for two decades almost continuously. It will be instructive to compare the countries' very different constitutions and see how they have helped or hindered progress in areas such as economic and social development, and democratic representation and accountability.
    I am joined by two experienced guests from both countries, Ralph Ramkarran from Guyana and Timothy Hamel-Smith from Trinidad and Tobago.
    Ralph Ramkarran is a politician and lawyer who served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Guyana from 2001 to 2011. He comes from a family with a long political history in Guyana.
    Timothy Hamel-Smith is also a lawyer and was former President of the Senate in Trinidad and Tobago from 2010-2015. He also comes from a family with a long political history in Trinidad and Tobago.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Crime and Punishment: Is the Norway Model applicable to Trinidad and Tobago? w/ Tom Eberhardt and Jayanti Lutchmedial

    Crime and Punishment: Is the Norway Model applicable to Trinidad and Tobago? w/ Tom Eberhardt and Jayanti Lutchmedial

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E6
    streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
    repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
    Crime rates vary widely from country to country. Trinidad and Tobago has sadly become one of the most murder-plagued countries in the world, measured on a per capita basis. This is like many of its Latin American neighbours and some of the other more violent, Caribbean countries, like Jamaica. Other Caribbean islands and Latin American countries, on the other hand, are remarkably murder-free.
    The Netherlands, too, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Tied to this is its unique prison system, which has prisoner reform and re-integration at the top of its agenda.
    In the 1990s, violent crime in the US was reduced drastically by different crime prevention measures, most notably lead by Mayor Rudy Giuliani in NYC, who led the world's most impressive and important turnaround effort. So the right policy changes can have dramatic effects.
    What are the various crime prevention measures undertaken in various countries? Can the success of models in the Netherlands, for example, be applied to Trinidad, which is a very different society in many ways?
    Specifically, what is the prison situation like in Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands? What lessons might be learned? Is there anything that we have done right in Trinidad and Tobago that others might learn from?
    Joining us this week to discuss these questions are Tom Eberhardt from Norway, and Jayanti Lutchmedial from Trinidad and Tobago.
    Tom Eberhardt is the Governor of Bastøy Prison in Norway, known for being one of the most successful and humane prisons on the planet. Bastoy has a completely different model for their prison, with the focus being on rehabilitation.  
    Jayanti Lutchmedial is a Senator in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. She was a former prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and continues to practise as an Attorney-at-Law.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Geopolitics, The New Cold War and Developing Countries w/ Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Ralph Maraj

    Geopolitics, The New Cold War and Developing Countries w/ Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Ralph Maraj

    A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E5 streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
     
    Today the West -- embodied by that imperial relic known as the G7 -- is embarking on a New Cold War directed at China and Russia.
    What a far cry from the end of the original Cold War in 1990 when the promise of a New World Order and globalisation sought to bring the world together in a cooperative spirit. That decade saw a lot of progress in developing countries, so much so that by the 21st century, the BRICs emerged as some of the world's largest economies, displacing the old G7 grouping from their position as the world's leading industrial nations.
    However, the rise of Russia and China, in particular, has been greeted with hostility and fear by the West and NATO, and new "Berlin Walls" are being attempted to once again pit the world into warring and competitive camps.
    How will this affect global development, especially for developing countries? For those of us who are part of neither the G7 nor Russia and China, what are our options? Do we take sides or do we remain neutral?
    To discuss these issues, I am privileged to have as my guests Helga Zepp-LaRouche from Germany -- the centre of the old Cold War with the Berlin Wall -- and Ralph Maraj from Trinidad and Tobago.
    Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the President and founder of the International Schiller Institute in Germany, and the Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität party (BüSo) (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity). Together with her late husband, the American economist, theorist and political leader, Lyndon LaRouche, she was at the forefront of spearheading the New International Economic Order for a just global economy in the 1970s and 1980s, and the World Landbridge which became the foundation of the New Silk Road in 2013.
    Ralph Maraj is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as a holder of other Ministerial positions. Notably, he has held Cabinet-level positions across opposing administrations in the 1990s. He is also an accomplished playwright and actor, starring in what many -- including me -- believe is the best film ever made in Trinidad and Tobago, Bim, about the rise and fall of an outsider politician.
     

    • 1 hr 11 min

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