The gasoline and diesel subsidy in Trinidad and Tobago will be about $TT2.7 billion this year and the Government is looking at ways of reducing this subsidy, probably to reduce the national debt, and to pay off rich Clico investors who are itching to use their funds to buy more houses in Florida. The Government is proposing to reduce the fuel subsidy by encouraging the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) once again. Personally, I think this is another pie-in-the-sky plan since CNG has failed to take off in Trinidad and Tobago every time a ruling regime tries to reintroduce its use despite the enormous potential for corruption in its implementation.
If the Government wants to reduce the fuel subsidy there are simpler and less corrupt ways to do it and those ways simply mean people should wake up and smell the lotus flower and drive smart. Driving smart will reduce fuel consumption which means less fuel to subsidize. To drive smart you only need to observe some simple guidelines as follows:
- Don’t drive aggressively or like an idiot. Accelerate slowly even in traffic and never cross the speed limit unless the perfect opportunity to tailgate a speeding ambulance arises. Some say you can improve your gas mileage by as much as 30% by following this rule. You will also be less likely to kill innocent people due to your natural born stupidity.
- Remove excess weight. This would mean not only to encourage your passengers to lose 50 pounds apiece but also the removal of things you mindlessly carry around in the trunk like Tiger Woods autographed golf clubs, wet Speedo swimming trunks and bikinis, crates of bananas, and scaffolding removed from the Gunapo Church site. Depending on the amount of weight you shed, you can improve mileage by 1 or even 2 percent.
- Avoid excessive idling. This would be near impossible if you are into URP, CEPEP, or work at any Government Office that interfaces with the public but every little reduction in idle time will help the economy.
- Buy cars with good fuel economy like the Toyota Corolla with a 1.5 cc VVT engine or the Honda Civic with a 1.6 cc iVTEC engine. There are many other cars with good fuel economy on the market locally but try to avoid those foreign-used cars since most dealers are not honest but have a talent for selling Eskimos ice and politicians corruption. Their public image of honesty can be very deceptive.
- Japanese Prius sales take a slide (businessgreen.com)
- Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Still Dominate (tnr.com)
- Fossil fuel subsidies “dwarf” support for renewables (businessgreen.com)
- Fossil fuel subsidies are 10 times those of renewables, figures show (jamblemag.com)
- Japan’s green-car subsidy comes to a halt; sales of subcompacts dip 12.2% (green.autoblog.com)
One way corrupt people manage their guilt is to give some of their ill gotten booty to charity. The corrupt delude themselves into thinking that their God would not only forgive them for stealing if they give some to the poor but he might even bless them with even bigger opportunities to illegally pocket state funds once they give something to the lucky poor and chosen political party rather than squander all on high-rises in Florida, European vacations, big cars, Ten Cane Rum, and outside women. Managing guilt via delusions about God is a major way the corrupt don’t go mad with guilt. There are some corrupt ones, though, who simply don’t give a flying green fig about anything but themselves and they are the ones who we should fear the most. They walk amongst us just that they always wear more expensive shirts.
Being successful in the corruption business requires not only the smarts to avoid being convicted of the crime, but to be able to fall asleep without sleeping tablets or alcohol. The corrupt are a special breed and know how to hide evidence either by shredding documents, setting fire to some in what appears to be an everyday fire, and even by intimidating and ordering hits on whistle blowers. The fear of jail is what drives the corrupt to these extremes and it is this fear that cause them to widen the corruption net by intimidating and bribing their way away from arrest and conviction. This fear usually absorbs the rest of their corrupted lives. Corrupt people become corrupt not because the opportunity to thief presented itself on a well-funded Government platter but because they were unable to see way down the road and how just the allegation of corruption destroys them but mainly how it destroys their family.
The fact that in Trinidad and Tobago there are probably no big time corrupt people in jail proves that corruption will become an embedded way of life for many who think the best way to be happy is with stolen money.
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The public’s perception of RBTT in Trinidad and Tobago is no different to that of Calder Hart and company and that is why customers feel heads will soon be rolling at this once great bank turned permanent fiasco. I am writing a second blog post about this RBTT disaster because just this morning at the RBTT ABM in St. Augustine, a woman on the verge of tears said she had no idea what she was going to do and was still unable get any of her salary money from RBTT. It was really hard to ignore her plight but the bank seems to be enjoying it. I assume RBTT does, in fact, have the woman’s money but one of the worst IT screw-up in West Indian history has been preventing her and thousands of RBTT customers from accessing their funds at the end of the month. It takes a genius with the brains of a jackass to plan this so-called upgrade for the end of the month. Fire them! Fire them!
I cannot stress this point too much but the public will feel no satisfaction until the culprits at RBTT Trinidad and Tobago who are responsible for this mindless and heartless act are publicly named and humiliated. Save your pointless, generic, full page public-apology ads for your toilets, RBTT. Does RBTT have any idea how much productivity is being lost because workers have to take time off from work to stand in line at RBTT banks for hours to get their money? Does RBTT understand how dangerous it is to walk around with large sums of cash? Does RBTT understand what this is doing to their business and image? Can RBTT put a cost on loss of public confidence? Does RBTT know the stress a customer feels when he or she swipes an RBTT card waiting for the transaction to go through or FAIL! No, RBTT doesn’t know and certainly doesn’t give a flying green fig about anything but profits and big cars for the boys. Greed and ruthless foreigners will always bring you down, RBTT! Sources from the bank said the problem has not even been identified much less resolved after one week. The stability of a society on the verge of collapse is at stake, and it seems that incompetence is greater in the private sector than in the public sector in sweet Trinidad and Tobago. Can we expect the private sector to turn the economy around? Maybe, but please exclude RBTT.
Shanghai Construction, builders of the Guanapo Church, has taken the lead by placing nothing less than a full-page ad in the Trinidad Guardian to congratulate, or is it welcome, the new Prime Minister. It stresses, with as much tact as a supposedly guilty company could muster, that it is a Chinese Government State Company and wants to maintain good relationships with the people of this beautiful country and not necessarily only the beautiful people of this country. I suppose they, the Chinese Government, want to make it known that they want to be left alone and in peace or else. It is a classic case of my Government is bigger that your Government and richer too. We will see how this plays out because there are few hundred thousand people in the country who want to know the truth and nothing but the truth about the past. It is not about vengeance but about setting the right example for citizens of this beautiful country.
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PM PM PM: Ladies and gentlemen, I have absolutely, entirely and totally nothing to do with that church and I have no idea where these pious people get so much damn money from since I know the church owner very well and she is a poor, attractive but impassioned woman who knows very well how to beg a man. Furthermore, my dear friends, I don’t know how these Chinese people who were brought in to work on my house via an opaque Government to Government arrangement is building this church. I will have to check their work permits and see if it says For Government Wuck Only. I also find it a bit more than passing strange that on the drawing for the church a well-known, corrupt State Enterprise that I love so very much is listed as the customer. I have to talk to the honest and Honorable Minister of Security and the incorruptible AG about that. Something doesn’t look right here. Heads look like they may have to roll, ladies and gentlemen, Heads look like they may end up in jail. Next question, please, Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist. ”
How the rest of the interview actually went:
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist III: Sir, I like your tie and your jockey shorts.
PM PM PM: Is So? Thank You for kissing my ass and letting the Nation know how to do it in public.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist III: Anytime, Sir.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist II: Sir, we understand the President’s house mash up from neglect and incompetence.
PM PM PM: Is so? But in any case the President is a mouse but that is not a problem since we were due to fix it, the house I mean, before 2020 reach.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist II: Wow, excellent answer, Sir.
PM PM PM: I know. Yuh think I easy.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist I: Apparently crime, corruption, wastage of taxpayers money, property tax, church or seer woman are not issues for the elections. What are the issues then, Sir?
PM PM PM: Who have the best sounding jingle and so far “Only We Care” is out in front.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist I: I agree and whole day I only humming that tune. I don’t like how “PM PM PM Have to Goe” and “Goe Nah” does sound. Dem song too rude!
PM PM PM: Thank you for your honesty and intelligence.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist I: Coming from you, I can hardly contain my blushing.
PM PM PM: Thank you
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist I: So what’s in store for the Nation for the next 5 years?
PM PM PM: The same old, same old only more of the same old.
Mr. Doe-Doe-Head Journalist II: Impressive!
PM PM PM: You telling me!
The ruling party is hoping that the bribe of freshly paved roads and an increase in old age pension grants will secure enough votes to win the general election on May 24th thus delaying or eliminating the need for certain big boys to go to jail. Only the gullible will think the money for these reelections schemes came from the pockets of politicians and not the pockets of citizens. Most of the population was grateful to the Government for throwing some money their way and not throwing more money at the Malaysians, the Chinese, the Summits, the undulating stadium or other forms of corruption. The crowds at the ruling party’s and opposition partnership party’s rallies on Sunday seemed big though the Coalition’s crowd seemed larger from TV. If popular support won elections then the ruling party should be scared – it doesn’t but they are.
The competition for votes to stay out of jail is vicious and the Government seem to have made a decision to let the public know what it has accomplished via expensive full-page ads and TV spots paid for using taxpayers’ dollars. This shows what the ruling party’s stand on integrity is but few will care. Fortunately, the ruling party is loved by many contractors for their stance on the issue of spending taxpayer’s money corruptly.
The fallout from a general elections is considerable and if the ruling party loses the election many who are now Government Ministers will be wondering how they will survive on no income, little skill and no Bus Route Pass. Some, who now live in mansions or hotels, may have to settle for a little town house somewhere or a big condo or jail cell somewhere else. The retention of power is not just about being in a position to meddle in things that will keep people prison-free but about losing the position of being a super bully. But these are still early days and the bullies may still end up with the power to bully any citizen they choose.
Recently, I was talking to a group of form 5 students about career selection and I was not so shocked when just below half the class said they wanted to go into the blossoming and rewarding field of corruption. Only a few years ago students wanted to become doctors, lawyer, engineers, economist and fast food cooks then that all changed with the drug trade. Now, even the attraction of being a gang leader, a community gang leader, drug pusher, pimp, URP Forman, coastguard man or Syrian has given way to becoming corruptible at several levels including the highest ones. I laughed to myself and realized these students were still dreaming so I told these students it is not good enough to say they want to get into corruption and they must have a plan.
One student, a boy, stated he wanted to get into the political side of corruption while many more wanted to be on the contracting side of things. At this stage I couldn’t believe these students were so ill-informed and I had to point out that there was also a great degree of corruption in the private sector where there was not only a high degree of nepotism but contracts for building new offices are given to friends of directors rather than the most competitive contractor who did not factor in kickbacks in his bid. I also had to indicate that corruption was like a religion and I wasn’t talking about pedophilia but the fact they must also peddle garbage to the masses to get people to worship them so they can be forgiven for their obvious thievery if discovered.
Naturally, no talk to the young ones can take place about corruption without the mentioning of jail so I pointed out, quite sternly, that corruption was against the law and to be successful at corruption they must have the law, especially the police investigating team and forensic investigators, on their side. I stressed that corruption is a group activity and these people will become part of their corruption network and it’s not just the big cheese that gets the entire cake, condo or church. They laughed at me said “Duh!” Many said they were already members of the youth arm of suitable political parties to start their career path and network rolling. At the end of my talk I didn’t feel hollow or nauseated but instead, I felt a sense of calm knowing the youth of today will become, not garbage collectors, but wealthy garbage collection contractors bribing public officials for jobs. I felt reassured that the next incomplete highway to nowhere will be built by a corrupt local contractor and not an imported, unscrupulous Malaysian company. The future of our country is in good hands and the example set by the generations before will not have been in vain. Our future is bright but it’s just that we are too incorruptible to see.
A strong leader must be able to speak with certainty to supporters about who to hate and how much. A strong leader must be able to use one hand to distract his audience with a fake diamond watch made in China using child labor while sticking his other hand in the Treasury to buy his woman or women anything they care to worship. A strong leader approves of early withdrawals and gang leaders. Strong leaders use public funds to host useless Summits and build useless cloud-scrapers and stadiums while the sick gets sicker and the roads turn to parking lots supervised by a man short on brains. A strong leader must always appear to his groupies as if he is in a rum shop and wants to break a bar stool on the head of anybody who is getting close to his hidden truth and palace. Strong leaders do not eat chicken or drink but they do womanize God-approved women. Strong leaders are always feared and never respected. Strong leaders must raise their voices at public meetings and bring in supporters by the bus loads to give the impression people give a damn about what they say. Real and strong leaders defend in public and privately those criminals who are part of strong-leader-approved criminal activities. Strong leaders have sleepless nights worrying about the cost of drapes in their future prison cell and if they offer ballroom dancing classes to strong leaders who find their rightful place in prison.
Ishmael Samad attempted to make either a symbolic or real citizen’s arrest of Calder Hart using a well constructed sledge hammer on Mr. Hart’s gate. The incident was seen on the 7’oclock news and the blows to the gate showed that the decorative pieces on the gate were poorly welded on. If I were Calder Hart, I would have blown a fuse and immediately have a stern word with the welder. What I think is more worrying is that, for the country’s sake, I hope the welder was not involved in welding at any of the country’s newest jewels put together by Mr. Hart, and possibly, his friends and family. I also pray, for worshipers sake, this welder did not fabricate anything for the church in Gunapo.
The press reported that the police was on the scene within 15 minutes and Mr. Samad was held for questioning for over an hour, the same length of time the Anti Corruption Bureau spent “interrogating” Mr. Hart. The difference between Mr. Hart and Mr. Samad is that Mr. Hart flew back to Miami and Mr. Samad was hopefully released on bail. I am sure when certain Government officials hear about this latest attack on the gate of this outstanding citizen’s home, a fit will be thrown since they may have also used the same welder. Mr. Samad did not resist arrest and went on the tray of the police pickup under police orders which is not an approved or safe way of transporting people. But this is Trinidad and Tobago where lawlessness of Police Officers is as common as dry taps, bush fires and an unfinished billion-dollar stadium.
I think Mr. Samad was brave to do what he did and many citizens, fed up of the Government’s inability to arrest Government’s contempt towards the public, must be proud of Mr. Samad’s actions. Mr. Samad now joins the ranks of Percy Villafana as yet another Citizen Supreme. The Government will no doubt call Samad’s actions wrong and may even consider it an act of terrorism by those who are now quaking in their boots. What the Government will fail to say and realize is that the actions of Mr. Samad was understandable given the public’s perception that this Government was the most corrupt in the nation’s history. The public also holds the view this Government will do anything to promote and encourage dishonesty in dealing with the public’s purse. Mr Samad’s actions is not an everyday occurrence and it is as a result of the level of frustration most citizen’s are feeling about what is seen as the intentional mismanagement of the country’s resources for the good of a chosen few.
According to Wikipedia, the word corrupt is “Middle English, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere, to destroy.” It goes on to say that there are as many types of corruption as there are things worth thieving or tiefing as it is commonly called and done in Trinidad and Tobago. It seems corruption, apart from destroying the country, boost the sales of expensive cars giving the gullible public the impression they were acquired through working smarter not harder.
Trinidad and Tobago is seen by the world as a very corrupt place and good for doing business. Despite the public being unable to participate in the big corrupt activities planned by the Government, corruption continued in full swing in Trinidad and Tobago when a Top Government Official signed agreements on behalf of the people of the country with Foreign Companies sympathetic to the needs of the Government Official. The Foreign Companies were handpicked to provide expensive but useless things to the citizens. The Official had decided on the projects because the projects were both unnecessary, and subject to as many cost overruns as the tax payers could handle with the new property tax. The delivery of the projects could be delayed infinitely as nobody would need the finished product anyway. The skimming-off factor (the amount of money that unofficially comes from the treasury and goes into corrupt pockets) was decided based on a cost estimate from two people; a foreign sounding friend and a woman profiteer who could put strange things into the Official’s head despite its small size because it was empty as a plundered treasury.
In the latest known corruption episode of the country, the stools made proper contact with the ceiling fan causing the Foreign Friend to runaway and the profiteer to miraculously not be found. Apparently the police was looking for the foreigner in slow motion and the press was looking for the profiteer. Then, quite unexpectedly, the Foreign Friend returned, holding an accomplice’s hand, to attend to some family matters with the police but no warrant for Foreign Friend’s arrest is expected to be issued until he flees the country again as the rumor also suggests he holds secrets that could flush many people down the toilet from hell.
Never ask what you can do for your country, but always ask what the Chinese, Malaysians and Canadians can do to it ~ aka_lol
WASA is an organization that lacks the technical competence the country needs for development and has no moral authority to finger the public as criminals when it is WASA’s officials, who should, for the very least, end up in jail for filling up the incoming CEO’s swimming pool with scarce water.
The incoming, foreign CEO of WASA should demand to live in a house with a swimming pool where his wife cannot be photographed by Guardian reporters in her swimsuit or bikini. The CEO of WASA should live in rural South Trinidad so that he, or possibly, she would understand what lack of service to customers mean and how to bathe with half a bucket of water. He should take a drive along Gordon, Ragbir, and Warner Streets in St. Augustine and also El Dorado Road and the Main Road near Curepe Junction to see the amount of water leaks that have existed for weeks and months without even the slightest bit of attention being paid to them by WASA during this period of severe drought. The CEO should then find the rum shop the leak inspectors hang out in during working hours and sit down and get drunk. He should also investigate why contractors have to be sent three and four times in one month to have the same leak repaired – they are probably being paid per visit that is why. He should find out if there is any collusion between WASA pump employees and leak contractors to jack up water pressures just to burst pipes and milk the country dry.
The new CEO will probably not be successful since dedication to work is not the culture of most of the remaining WASA employees. He will discover many talkers and very little doers. The new, foreign CEO of WASA will probably end up like most expats in the country and party with young and pretty local girls till dawn. If WASA has a clear vision for the organization and its employees have a sense of how important the organization is to the country, the public would be surprised since almost none of their actions to date suggest that. WASA is an organization which runs on PR and not performance. From what the public is hearing when they try to get water from their taps, WASA is only concerned about getting money from consumers and the Government to feed smart-men contractors who only appear to do something while actually doing nothing over and over.
On the day the Uff Report was submitted to a happy looking President, the Prime Minister suddenly realized the people needed more hospitals and Summits. The Prime Minister did not say how the country was going to fund these hospitals or any project in the future since the country is nearly out of money, low on natural gas and expect the price of LNG to drop to around 1/8th of its current low price in a couple years. It was also on the same day of the Uff Report WASA announced again the country will run out of water before the rain starts, so citizens will have to bathe less.
Luckily, the press did not fall for any of these Government-planned distractions and the first few pages of every newspaper featured the Uff Report and talked about the recommendation that some people involved in many big construction projects might have to go to jail if found guilty or if found. Sometime around the handing in of the Uff Report there was a newspaper article saying the corruption police, or is it the anti-corruption, ass-dragging police, couldn’t contact Calder Hart. I don’t know if they contacted the AG because the AG told the population not to worry, he knows how to contact Mr. Hart – The number you have reached is not in Service. Please get on a plane and get cracking. This is a recording. The police have to consider Mr. Hart may have changed his name to something like Carlos Corazón or Manuel Digoutui (Man-Well-Dig-Out-U-Eye).
The only thing the people are talking about in Trinidad is corruption and a church in the Heights of Guanapo. Strangely, the Prime Minister is not addressing any of these issues in his pre-campaign trail excursions and instead continues to kiss those too young to read about him in the press and projects a body language which says “if you don’t support me I will destroy you.” Our Prime Minister may not be well respected by the majority of the population because of his open expressions of hate for his countrymen but he is feared by all, especially professional grass cutters and the Gang Land finance people.
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I yawned last night when the news on all local TV stations reported that the police, famous for being loyal to our incorruptible leader, raided UDeCOTT offices, Sunway International’s offices and the home of Calder Hart, possibly looking for remnants of The Treasury. They did this after months of intense investigations – the AG claimed the investigations started since September last year but it appears nothing was done until the suspect fled the country maybe on a tipoff from one in the know. From what I saw on TV, the investigators wore shirt jack suits and detained some Dell and Lenovo PCs, a few external hard drives and laptops probably sporting quad and dual core processors. The police will probably find nothing but some local and foreign pornographic photos, a few good Malaysian jokes, family photos of long lost relatives and very little about churches or bank accounts. Even I don’t leave that kind of thing lying around my hard drive.
This raid was very entertaining and caused the press and print media to squeeze as much mileage from the recent government orchestrated stage show featuring loyal supporters of the God of the Government. The media however missed the most important piece of news to affect Trinidad and Tobago now and way into the future and that news is the money done. This report was pushed to page 10 of the Trinidad Express which says “BPTT Head: Natural Gas boom over.” Now, if a man like BPTT’s current head can face reality for a change and tell the public there will be no more easy money and we in Trinidad and Tobago must start to actually produce things the world wants besides gas, oil and Chubby sweet drink, then things must be really bad. The Government knows this and many sensible people also know that the chances of getting their money from any failed insurance companies are getting dimmer by the second despite a bankrupt Government’s guarantee.
All these non-productive Port of Spain cosmetic projects, including the billion-dollar-fiasco-summits, have finally taken its toll on the country and all the money ain’t even done pass yet. The freeloaders appointed to cabinet are shaking in their shoes trying to justify their existence to the Prime Minister by nodding after every sentence the man utters, even when he is in a heightened state of delusion. I guess they must be suffering from his delusion as well. A snap election is inevitable as more news of suspected financial wrongdoings is leaked to the public. Those contractors who had the foresight to milk the country dry before the downturn must be commended for their clear vision of the future. Hopefully they were smart enough to change their money into US dollars and bank it in Miami before our TT dollar floats away. I also hope they found the time and took those well-deserved European vacations. Hopefully, Citizens finally realize that God is not a Trini and he is extending the drought, and WASA’s and UDeCOTT’s officials tenure just to prove this point.
An active Atlantic hurricane season is predicted for 2010 but this might not translate into productive rainfall for Trinidad and Tobago which will cause WASA, a proactive organization, to prepare a future press release claiming that though the country is constantly under flood water, the dams are still dangerously low so the country will have to invest billions on energy-hungry, corruption-resistant desalination plants which will feed those water leaks that will be maintained for both cultural and financial reasons.
On the bright side, the drought of 2010 has Trinidad looking more and more like the Prime Minister – destroyed via stupidity. As part of the country’s 2020 vision for the Hurricane Season, more of Trinidad and Tobago will be under mud when it rains because citizens have been comforting themselves with soft drinks in plastic bottles and replaced those third world foam mattresses with developed nation status mattresses from Serta, Restonic and King Koil. Though we have parts of Port of Spain looking almost first world with the Waterfront Project, garbage bins, and that other national pride, the analogue-ready NAPA, these building are like some beautiful women, good to look at but suck the treasury dry.