Dear Editor,Today, August 1, we celebrate 180 years of the abolition of slavery in Guyana. This significant event is better known as the Emancipation, and is widely acknowledged for the celebrations and festivities that surround it. The abolition of slavery came centuries after our ancestors were ripped from their homeland in Africa, brought all those miles across the Atlantic Ocean to this part of the world, sold into a system called slavery, and thereafter worked and lived in the most inhumane conditions there ever were.The achievement of emancipation came after decades of struggle, enduring hardships, privation, demoralisation, torture, and death at the hands of the slave masters. All of their freedoms were taken away. Stripped of their identity, they were removed from the status of a human being to that of an animal. Hence it was with great jubilation that they welcomed the dawn of August 1, 1834.It could be said that it was this sad and dark era of history that influenced the conceptualisation of the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948, 114 years after Emancipation.Enshrined in this declaration are 30 articles, five (5) of which speak to the right to various forms of freedom. Article 1 – Innate freedom and equality; Article 13 – Right of freedom of movement; Article 18 – Right of freedom of thought and religion; Article 19 – Right of freedom of opinion and expression; and Article 20 – Right of freedom of assembly and association. Of these five rights, Article 19 in particular states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.No one can dispute the fact that these rights were withheld from our ancestors, and it was for these very rights that they fought for on many occasions via uprisings and rebellions against the slave masters. In the early 1920s, it was one of their offsprings, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, who continued the struggle for these rights, which led in later years to the attaining of another right, as is enshrined in Article 20, which states: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.It is this particular right that helped to advance the work of the trade union movement. The attainment of Independence and Republican status over the decades were all achieved by way of struggles in various forms. However, 184 years later, we, the descendants of those noble men and women, are seemingly engaged in another form of struggle. This time around, we are fighting to maintain our democratic freedom at various levels of work and representation.During this period of emancipation, there are many songs that are reflected upon as they point to the many injustices experienced by our ancestors. The most popular is “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only we can free our minds”. At this point in time in our history, these words hold fast to present day experiences and outcomes. At times it would seem that we are still to remove from our minds the shackles which keep us in a subdued position. Time and again, we are psychologically whipped by present day massas, whose whips are their token positions and authority which are used to “keep us in our place”.It is these present day plantocracy cabal that is guilty of violating our fundamental rights to freedom of expression and opinion by seeking to muzzle us by driving fear using various tactics that do not augur well for our and the nation’s wellbeing.Therefore, it is with much hope and expectation that, as the descendants of our distinguished fore-parents, we strive to emulate their values, hard work, sacrifices and togetherness, which paved the way for their removal from the harsh and inhumane conditions of slavery and into a world where freedom was opportune.As we celebrate Emancipation 2018 with songs, dances and all the festivities relating to this auspicious occasion, let freedom reign in our hearts and minds. Let it become the mantra of nation building, a process that began 184 years ago. Happy Emancipation.Sincerely,Gillian Burton-PersaudMember of Parliament
Share This!Is rain back in Central Florida’s forecast? After a couple of dry weeks with just spotty coastal showers making their way as far inland as Walt Disney World, it looks like we might be back in business. But the summertime sea breeze storms are over. We’re in a whole new world (sorry!) of weather patterns.Surprise! Fall ShowersDid you get wet while waiting for the final showing of IllumiNations? This time of year, coastal showers can show up with a lack of fanfare that really surprises out-of-towners and local guests alike! The clouds are smaller and much lower in height than our towering thunderstorms, the showers are more concentrated in small areas, and they typically last only minutes… but wow, can they pack a lot of rain into those minutes! These showers are more typical of fall and spring weather in central Florida, blowing through in a hurry without so much as a rumble of thunder.On the opposite side of the spectrum, you’ll find smaller, drier clouds give away their lack of rainy intent. Look how flat and stretched-out these fair weather cumulus over Epcot are looking. This photo is from Thursday, October 3… one of the drier days this past week.Big sun and little clouds for an October afternoon at Epcot.This week’s weather at Walt Disney WorldWind, rain, and clouds: oh yes! Florida is getting the squeeze from an inverted trough to our south, and a high pressure ridge to our north. That’s kicking up the breezes even as a frontal boundary off the east coast is allowing some moisture to finally settle into our dry atmosphere.That means a jump in humidity: up into the 60-70% territory during the day. Daytime heating and humidity is helping some Atlantic showers push inland with more success than they managed last week, so rain chances have gone up through most of the week.However, the chance of thunder is pretty limited — these showers may continue to bring gusty winds and brief downpours, but the dynamics aloft that let our legendary thunderstorms kick off are pretty weak this time of year. If you’re a lightning bug, this is not the week you capture your great photo of a bolt over Cinderella Castle.Towards the end of the week, an area of high pressure is expected to drift our way, bringing drier air as moisture levels in the mid levels of the atmosphere taper off. It’s looking like Columbus Day weekend will be another sunny autumn weekend in Central Florida.Expect daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 80s all week long, with lows in the 70s during the first part of the week, then dropping into the 60s later in the week as the humidity lets up and dry air takes control once more.Rain chances will be highest through Wednesday, with showers flowing in from the Atlantic each day and about a 50% chance of your particular piece of ground seeing rain on any of these days.Tropical weather outlookOctober is typically a strong month for hurricane development, particularly for Florida interests, but this week the National Hurricane Center is tracking two areas of interest in the North Atlantic, far from the usual tropical development zones.Relatively quiet: the five-day tropical weather outlook. Courtesy NOAAOne is well out to sea, between Bermuda and the Azores, but is expected to slowly develop into a tropical or subtropical depression as it drifts westwards. There’s a fifty percent chance of tropical depression formation over the next five days.The other area of formation is less likely and doesn’t affect Florida, as it’s a non-tropical low which may develop off the Carolina coast later in the week. This system is expected to drift northward off the east coast of the U.S. and could develop some subtropical characteristics, like a closed center of circulation.What’s the chance we’ll still see some tropical development in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico, or the nearshore Atlantic? The clock is definitely running down — historically, only ten percent of a year’s hurricane activity takes place after October 20th. As we are looking towards October 10th with nothing but these two Atlantic outliers on the horizon, it’s possible that the hurricane season is coming to an unceremonious early end (much like the Florida rainy season did). One reason for October’s quiet waters: Hurricane Lorenzo. This massive, record-breaking storm mostly rained on the fishes before it rocketed up to Ireland. But it left a lasting impact on the waves in its wake: cool water. Hurricanes pull heat from the surface of the water, and leave a cold trail behind them. Lorenzo’s wake reached all the way across the Atlantic to the shores of Florida and the Carolinas for more than a week, leaving a chilling effect in place that would freeze out any future storms.While the Atlantic Ocean may look like it’s shut down for the season, there is one remaining threat to Florida’s sanity over the next few weeks—the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. These locally-grown storms are more common threats in late hurricane season—like Hurricane Michael, the catastrophic Category 5 storm which hit the Florida panhandle last year. These storms can be spun up by an atmospheric feature called the Central American Gyre. Michael was developed out of a Central American Gyre; so was 2017’s deadly and costly Hurricane Nate. The gyre is a swirl in the atmosphere which occurs over or near Central America, stirring up rain and trouble. Should one spin up between now and November, we could find ourselves with a new area of tropical development.
You’re sitting in your office, in front of the computer. Stacks of paper, files, and forms sit on your credenza, your desk, and one of the side chairs. The door to your office is slightly ajar, and anyone passing by can see that you are there. Suddenly, a gentle knock, and a head appears in the doorway. “Got a minute?” You, of course, reply, “Sure. What’s up?” So begins “Got a Minute?”, a book about the challenges, missteps, and day-today frustrations faced by human resource professionals and people managers in organizations everywhere. Designed to help HR professionals and line managers deal with challenging employees in the workplace, this book enlists a novel approach by tying together several real-life examples of employee behavior within a broad range of circumstances such as: Substance abuse – Chronic liars – Culture clashes – Sexual issues – Invasion of privacy – Policy violations – and much more.Following the stories in each chapter, an analysis of how the business professionals handled the situations highlights the benefits and detriments of their choices. The stories, many are funny, others are head-scratchers, and a few are even downright odd and are used as examples to illustrate the nine critical lessons of people management. These lessons form the basis of the ethical and legally defensible practices of human resource management and, if understood, will make you a better people manager. The question is: Do you know the most important lessons you need to be a successful HR professional? For more information on Got a Minute? The 9 Lessons Every HR Professional Must Learn to Be Successful or to visit the SHRM Store, please click here.
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