Trinidad and Tobago – The Calm Before the Storm


ok-then

So what has Mr. Howai and the rest of the brilliant PP government done to reduce the massive wastage of fuel due to the thousands of people driving from South and Central into the world famous bottleneck, Port of Spain, to work? This Government promoted inefficiency is not only a drain on the treasury but a complete waste of hundreds of thousands of man-hours spent in traffic daily. The inefficiency due to traffic is made worse by the amount of stress and related health issues, such as unhappiness, this inflicts on those who are unfortunate enough to travel this route to earn enough to feed their families and buy subsidized gasoline.

 
This daily South-North traffic was encouraged by Manning when he built several tall buildings to house the people in the tiny capital Port of Spain almost as a form of vengeance. It was hoped that one of the first acts of the PP Government should have been a plan to get citizens to work closer to where they live rather than give contracts to party financiers. Naturally, Kamla’s amusing and often childish sounding chant “serve the people, serve the people, serve the people” can no longer be heard as the Government buys fifty two armored vehicles to “blow up the people” should they step out of line. Are we a nation on the verge of revolt?

 
Yes, a revolt might be near simply because when the Government, either PP or PNM, removes the unsustainable subsides on gasoline, water, electricity and GATE, CEPEP, URP and CDAP, all hell will break loose in paradise and whether party financiers get their contracts and the appropriate kickbacks paid will be the least of the Government’s concerns.

No Bullies, No Corruption, No Anil


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I have no idea if the pro-corruption Life Sport programme will be another straw which will break the Partnership’s back again  but certainly the retention of Anil Roberts will. His supporters say that Anil “does give it to them good” but it seems he cannot take it despite his claims of having a very broad, swimmers back. That is how it is with bullies.

Unfortunately the only things Anil ever brought to this country as a politician was his over inflated ego, delusion of grandeur, bullyism and an oversize mouth. The Prime Minister terminated the Life Sports programme, which came under Mr. Roberts, because the audit report said there were more than several instances of suspected massive corruption. Under the Life Sport programme there were a few hundred million dollars earmarked to keep young teens away from gangs,  crime and political life. Instead the audit report suggests much of this money went into the pockets of the chosen few who, like many before them, craved plundering the Treasury.

Anil Roberts said the termination of the programme will cause poor black boys to suffer but was silent on whether his legendary incompetence as a Minister of Sports made poor black boys happy. This is a disgraceful  national fiasco so why is Anil Roberts thinking twice about resigning but more importantly, why is the Prime Minister afraid to fire him. Fear is weakness.

Fishing for Orange Juice in Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad Orange Juice - a Trinidad and Tobago Icon

Trinidad Orange Juice – a Trinidad and Tobago Icon

Ever since it was discovered in the US that 700 cans of Trinidad orange juice had cocaine hidden inside, the citizens and well wishers of Trinidad and Tobago became anxious and with baited breath are still waiting to know who the true exporter of this juice really is. Surely this must be the work of the mysterious and elusive Mr. Big.  Could this be the moment we have been waiting for donkey’s years?  Mr Big is the mythical and probably real figure who hides in plain sight among the commoners and dignitaries alike.He is the local drug kingpin with powers that would be the envy of any politician or leader. In fact legend says he is, and has always been, the real ruler of the land for countless years.  Mr. Big is the local Keyser Söze.

Some say he started with bags but others say foreign used cars or maybe scotch. Nobody really knows. With things going a little astray overseas recently, the hidden ruler and master of the local drug world is calling on all his politician friends on all sides, to defend him against the foreign, evil oppressors who find his juice in poor taste.  The population is skeptical that Big would ever be caught and identity ever known because of his connections in high places. Naturally, most feel the manufacturer of the juice is not the exporter of the coke and the one who will be charged might be a headless sardine in the cesspit of the local drug trade.

I think it was in very poor taste that the exporter would risk tarnishing the image of a product that is iconic to Trinidad and Tobago and loved by all. As a country, we should stand up against those who want to get rich regardless who or which country they destroy on the way. And if for no other reason Big or Sardine make ah jail it should be for tarnishing the image of the nation for a few big cars and rolly polly women.

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CHOGM – So What!


The Prime Minister has asked me and the other citizens to be supportive of CHOGM (pronounced chewing gum) which might include no negative blogging or making fun of it. The Prime Minister has also asked me, along with other gullible citizens, to look out for foreign investments after CHOGM as investments might be so small we all have to keep our collective eyes open for it. Even if we don’t get CHOGM investments because of traffic, crime, flooding and school children regularly killing each other with 10-inch kitchen knives, we will be happier because of CHOGM starting Monday. Some citizens have already benefited from CHOGM with carefully orchestrated economic activity thrown their way. “Just get it now, I don’t want to know the price. The Queen  coming, and Sarkozy too” one organizer was heard whispering on the phone to a friend. “Sarco who? But anyway, it expensive” said the friend. “So what! You ever hear about the new property tax!” the organizer snickered.

The Queen and other major people will be coming for CHOGM but very few will drive on a traffic road or tour our shanty towns. Very few will meet a normal citizen or have any recollection of our country’s name after Sunday lunch. How can we benefit by the arrogant, head-laughing-stock flying in via jet from fifty something countries,  gathering under one roof to talk about polar ice and eat corn soup that was made in an aluminum pot.

Yes, most citizens still think CHOGM is a few-hundred-million dollar joke and will not benefit citizens in any way.  Most see CHOGM and the big flagpole as a drain on our scarce foreign exchange and the reason for the increased property tax.  Maybe most of the benefits of CHOGM will come in the not too distant future as the Treasury is confirmed empty and the Government increases another tax. Maybe the real benefits of CHOGM will be felt when the Government starts its final plunder for dollars to buy a private jet by attacking those once stable pension funds with their party-backers-financiers. “So what!”

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H1N1 or Swine Flu in Trinidad and Tobago


hand_sanitizer

Legal Implications?

Is it legal to wear a facemask in public outside of Carnival Monday and Tuesday? If it is illegal the police  has turned one of their many blind eyes to it. Swine Flu, A(H1N1), has now hit Trinidad and Tobago with the number of cases increasing daily causing facemaks to become as popular as condoms  at Carnival. One police officer in Chaguanas was infected with the virus and a bigmouth Opposition Senator came close to getting it. There are 11 confirmed cases in Tobago and 7 in Trinidad which is scary since this is Trinidad and Tobago, the land of wasted billions and spiteful polaticians.

Caring Business Men?

In Chaguanas, people who were able to get facemask were wearing them in public while hand sanitizers were sold out at all pharmacies despite jacked up prices. Before the swine flu breakout, hand sanitizers were only used by those who knew better or wanted to “make a statement without saying a word.” Today, it is for only those who can afford it.

Face Mask

Should The Queen Visit?

The Government, under pressure to do what is right, wisely canceled the Caribbean Games in July and there is even talk it might affect The CHOG Summit in November. The Suriname Volleyball team contracted Swine Flu and is blaming Trinidad for it while a child in Antigua also contracted swine flu traceable to Trinidad. Our influence on the region cannot be doubted and the region is now bracing for a triple play; hurricanes, recession and swine flu. Hopefully this awareness of the virus will cause citizens to follow WHO guidelines to prevent its spread.

Should I Use Puncheon Rum?

(1)   Wash hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds and use alcohol based sanitizers (Purel, Dial, puncheon rum etc) when soap and water is not available.

(2)   Cover mouth and nose when coughing and not like how it was done before.

(3)   If you have influenza type symptoms such as “fever plus at least cough or sore throat and possibly other symptoms like runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea”  see a doctor, even if you recently ate food from a St. James roadside food vendor.

(4)   Keep at least six feet from coughing and sneezing humans and shout at them saying “Get away from me, you swine flu carrier!” Make sure the coughing and sneezing human feels embarrassed enough to avoid public contact for the next two weeks.

(5)   Follow these guidelines http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/masks.htm

Is swine flu a big deal or just a reason to miss work?

Some may think the swine flu is no big thing but it is. This influenza is not like the regular influenza virus where mainly old people, who were silently considered expendable, were affected. This swine flu or H1N1 seems to be seriously affecting the more valuable and better looking people who are also in the prime of their working and sexual life; people in their 20s to 40s. Yes, people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s can be attractive and sexually functional and therefore should also take the necessary precautions against the virus if they wish to continue having pleasures in life and in bed

person-panicDon’t Panic?

Earlier this month WHO declared A(H1N1) to be a pandemic. The word pandemic was derived from the Greek word pandēmos, meaning of all the people and should not be confused with the word panic, which was derived from the name for the Greek God of terror, Pan.

However, in Trinidad and Tobago, the health care system is poorly managed and with this added burden of a H1N1 now hitting the country, a good dose of panic is hard to avoid.

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Alutrint Smelter Construction Stopped


smelter4

Justice Mira Dean-Armorer, in her ruling on a lawsuite brought by a group of citizens against the EMA for issuing a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to Alutrint to construct  an aluminum smelter in La Brae, said “It is my view that the decision of the defendant, EMA, was procedurally irregular, irrational, and made without regard to the relevant consideration, that is to say, the consideration of the cumulative impact of the three related projects—the power plant, the aluminum complex, and the port facility.”

The judge did not say the smelter was unsafe but the experts at the EMA, a politically independent body that should be responsible for guarding the environment, could not prove it was. The citizens apparently were able to show the judge enough evidence to cause her to be concerned and possibly wonder if the people at the EMA had all their marbles. The average citizen, who is illiterate because they live in La Brea according to their MP, might come to the conclusion the EMA bowed to political pressure rather than their conscience and duty.

protest1I find it unsettling that the biggest threat to happiness and comfort of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago is the Government. Some, like the Prime Minister and his cabinet members, would say every action of protest brought by citizens against Government’s wishes is due to opposition politics and nothing to do with genuine concerns. Some might even say every decision by a judge against the Government’s actions is due to politics and not rational thinking. Everybody, except the politically insecure and obedient, knows these arguments are weak and usually parroted by weak minds that have lost the ability to think rationally and care for humanity. But a rational politician is like a sane madman or an intelligent dunce.

AluminiumThis case is destined to go to the Privy Council and if the EMA (Government) should lose then the reputation of the EMA would be damaged beyond repair and this would send a signal to the world that the threat to democracy is alive and well in Trinidad and Tobago. This is another case where the ordinary citizen will be fighting the people, aka Government, on behalf of the people.

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people ~ V from the movie V for Vendetta

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Earth Hour 2009


vote_earth

Millions of homes, businesses, and tall Government buildings will be shutting off lights for one hour tonight in support of Earth Hour. This is being done to highlight to World Leaders the need for energy conservation and something to blog about. Lighting accounts for 11% of a home’s electricity bill in the US but in Trinidad and Tobago it is less because of the dense streetlight population. During this one hour of darkness from 8:30 to 9:30 pm people are being urged to switch off all lights and take a moonlight stroll, get fit by running from bandits, or make love in those nearby bushes you had your eye on for so long. The Las Vegas Strip and parts of Beetham will go dark for one hour tonight but possibly for different reasons.

If lights-off becomes a habit the world will not only last longer but the population may increase if people don’t know what they are doing in the dark. This blog is urging people to tell a friend but stay away from Bougainvillea tonight.

Trinidad Bat Facts


Trinidad Bat

Trinidad Bat

  • Trinidad has more types of bats than any other country
  • There are 1,100 species of bats worldwide and these accounts for 70 percent of mammal species
  • There are 100 species of mammals in Trinidad and Tobago of which 60 are bats
  • The Tamana Caves, located in the Tamana Hills in Trinidad has a bat population between 500,000 to 3 million bats.
  • A type of vampire bat – Desmodus Rotundus Rotundus – is found in Trinidad
  • Vampire bats feed on the blood of animals and sometimes humans
  • Less than 0.5% of bats carry rabies
  • Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan, a Trinidadian medical doctor, was the first to discover that the rabies virus was transmitted by bats. He made the discovery in 1931.
  • Bats have very small teeth and can bite a sleeping person without being felt.
  • One bat can consume 4,800 insects a night
  • Bats disperse seeds and pollinate fruits which make bats vital for the survival of the rain forest
  • The local legend of the of the blood-sucking Soucouyans was probably based on vampire bats
  • It is unclear what characteristic of the bat influenced Bruce Wayne in becoming Batman
  • Vampire movies have given bats a bad name
  • Some Trinidadian girls look bloody good dressed in vampire bat costumes at Carnival time

Gabrielle Walcott – Beauty With a Purpose


Gabrielle Walcott - The Difference Is Obvious
Gabrielle Walcott – The Difference Is Obvious

The population of Russia is 141,377,752 and the population of India is 1,027,015,247 but the population of Trinidad and Tobago is only 1,305,028.3. Not withstanding the enormous population advantage of Russia and India, Trinidad and Tobago managed to place third in the Miss World competition for 2008. To be quite honest, if you look at the photo above the average person can clearly see Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Gabrielle Walcott, is more beautiful than either Miss Russia or Miss India. I am not suggesting the judges were blind, or suffered from Big Country Syndrome but I could not understand how Miss Walcott was placed in any position but first. Fortunately all was not lost and Gabrielle Walcott was crowned Miss Beauty With a Purpose. Very well done!

Gabrielle Walcott Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2008
Gabrielle Walcott Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2008
Gabrielle Walcott - Hypnotic
Gabrielle Walcott – Hypnotic

Gabrielle Walcottgabrielle_walcott_1gabrielle_walcott_32

Gabrielle Walcott

Gabrielle Walcott - Gorgeous

Gabrielle Walcott - Simply Stunning

Gabrielle Walcott – Simply Stunning
Gabrielle Walcott
Gabrielle Walcott

This Blog voted for Miss Walcott and this Blog congratulates Miss Walcott on her tremendous accomplishments. This Blog also understands that several Big Countries will be sending their contestants to train in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the Miss World and Miss Universe 2009 competitions due to the favorable local conditions that produce beauties. This Blog makes no further comment for now.

007 – Secrets Revealed


The 007 Trade Mark

The 007 Symbol of Success

I first met James Bond on a flight from Trinidad to Miami in 2007. He was flying economy because, as he would later explain, he was undercover. I didn’t recognize him at first since he had changed so many times over the years but what eventually gave him away was the use of his precise British accent to pick up the flight attendant and the manila folder on his lap marked”Double-Oh-Seven- Top Secret – For Your Eyes Only, Mr. Bond.” Naturally he denied he was 007 but I was persistent and he finally caved in. Caving in to a layman was not what one would have expected from the best and longest surviving Secret Agent the world had known. I felt he needed someone to talk too and I later realized that carrying the burden of secrecy year in, year out can crack even the oddest ball.

Bond was hesitant to talk about his job at first and explained that he was in Trinidad for a holiday but as he was about to lay down his head, M called with a new mission which had knocked the winds out his sails. He said he went from hero to zero in no time but I suspected he was the victim of great expectations. Bond had to get the first flight out of Trinidad and he never realized that there were so many. I said Trinidad was a place that people liked to leave but Bond failed to notice my attempted humor since, I assumed, he was distracted by his mission and windless sails.

James Bond as he boarded a flight from Trinidad to Miami

James Bond as he boarded a flight from Trinidad to Miami

I was eager to find out about the Secret Agent business since I often pretend I was a Secret Agent making calls from my shoe instead of my cell phone. Bond admitted the Secret Agent business was overrated and many of the secrets of the business could be found in any Robert Ludlum book or Google. I was more interested in the women aspect of the business and he said he it was the main reason he stayed for so long. Bond revealed he was writing a book he was going to either call Women I Bon(d)ed or Women in Bondage. I said the name didn’t matter once there were pictures and Bond agreed.

Bond Girls

Bond Girls

007 grew more talkative as the Martinis flowed. He talked about Odd Job, Goldfinger and our very own Mr. Big. He spoke fondly of Ursula Andress,  Michelle Yeoh and Halle Berry in a bikini. Bond recommended BMW passionately but wondered if The Prime Minister will give Benz, Audi, Jaguar and Aston Martin a chance to bid. James was bitter when I asked about MI6 (Emm eye six) and said he was seriously thinking about leaving and joining the CIA now that Barack Obama was the President. Bond also complained about Tom Cruise, called him pretentious and short, and said there were very few people who understood what was impossible about Cruise’s missions. Bond thought people were mainly interested in the special effects and Tom’s sultry women. I said people were also saying that about Bond and he seemed quite surprised and drunk.

The Air Marshals had to restrain Bond and carry him off the plane when he started to let out top secret information and show passengers his gun. I felt sorry for the Secret Agent who had sacrificed so much of his life saving the world from misguided villains and Republicans but who had now become a little bananas. I realized that Bond’s main source of stress was that he had many women friends who looked so good that it was driving him insane trying to remember their names and tatoo locations. Luckily, before Bond was arrested I was able to get his little black book from his pocket, a book which promised to give me, the new 007, a Quantum of Solace.

A Trinidad Tale


A Trinidad Butterfly

A Trinidad Butterfly

A Trinidadian, resident in the US, returned home for the first time in 23 years for a short visit. He said Trinidad seemed more built up since he left and some parts were not even recognizable. He also said the place was now crowded and the people were more hostile than he remembered. But he found one thing did not change and that surprised him the most. I asked if it was the butterflies but the visitor said no, it was the pothole outside his parents’ home which was still there. I laughed but said I was sure the pothole was repaired many times in those 23 years but there was something he must know and that is potholes in Trinidad cannot be permanently repaired.

I went on to explain that though people could put a man on the moon since the sixties and perform soybean oil breast implants since 1995 the technology used in countries like the US, Germany, and Somalia to effectively repair potholes had not reached Trinidad and Tobago. I said I did not know why the technology eluded us but there were also drains which had to be repaired every year because they kept using the same technology and mentality from the Stone Age. The visitor was shocked and then asked how the new interchange will work and I said they are keeping it quiet for now but it will not. “So there will be no relief for the motorist then?” he asked.  I said not much relief before 2012 and only if the money doesn’t run out. He bent his head and looked disappointed. I told him he looked sadder than a Republican but we in Trinidad and Tobago were happy to be alive and not get mugged or shot at and that was all that really mattered. But then my face lit up and I reminded the US resident in a short time they will have Barack Obama. His face also lit up but then I grew sad when he reminded me who we will still have.

Where the Hell is Matt?


I found this video on one of my favorite websites trinidaddreamscape. I agree with trinidaddreamscape that we in Trinidad and Tobago need something to smile at besides the jokers in Parliment or the boys in the Beetham attacking the police. Trinidad and Tobago is a naturally funny country and and that is why quarrying near the Asa Wright Nature Centre is good for the nation. I think we should adopt the Government’s motto Don’t Worry, Be Happy because no amount of worrying will cause the murder rate to drop, the rate of inflation to fall, the the price of oil to rise, the CEPEP stone to become unpainted, Government Ministers to not talk down to the population, the Central Bank Governor to shut up, kidnapped victims to be found alive, the Government to not purchase 200 luxury cars, or not spend over $500 million on two summits. So, in an attempt to promote happiness I give you Matt.

New Photos from Trinidad – Before The Planet Was Destroyed by Greed and Ignorance


A Yellow Poui in bloom at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago

I included two new but short photo albums at my photo-website, mayarobeach.com. I added the latest album yesterday and it’s a new St. Augustine (my home) album. The photos in this album are made up of back-yard photographs and some photos from UWI. In my usual incomprehensible style, I called the album A Day In St. Augustine – Trinidad.

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Mount St. Benedict - Trinidad

I also added a new Mt. St. Benedict album and I took all these photos in less than an hour because it was a gloomy and hot evening and I was on foot, hiking from home. I am by no stretch of anybody’s imagination a religious person but I like hiking up to The Mount and I like taking photographs of the buildings there. I have a friend who says he cannot look at these Mt. St. Benedict pictures because his religion doesn’t allow him to.

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mayarobeach.com stats

Here is the summary stats blog post for mayarobeach.com —Stats Page

I will be making changes when there is a new need.

Bikini Carnival 2008


Trinidad Carnival 2008

Nudity was considered good until it received a bad name from those who were afraid to get naked, even when alone in their mirrorless bedrooms at night.

There are inhibited voices crying for masqueraders to show less of their bodies on Carnival days and trips to the mall. Some are offended by high skin to clothes ratios and think the public display of the human body is immoral and can lead to a breakdown in society. Maybe those who are offended have bodies that can cause societal breakdown and psychological damage. This blog disagrees with the societal breakdown theory and agrees with Bertrand Russell when he said that morality is geographic. What people do is usually a symptom not the cause and what is offensive in one country is a tourist attraction in another.

Trinidad Carnival Bikini

In Trinidad and Tobago we have grown to accept that Bikini Costumes can be worn by women and some men in street parades on Carnival Monday and Tuesday but those costumes cannot be worn to work or to attend meetings unless asked to do so by ten or more people. Similarly, tight jeans may be worn by females who have the body and agility to accommodate those jeans without overstressing the fabric or the eyes of the observers. Also, the public has no problem with mini skirts being worn by the young and young looking but should not normally be worn while swinging in public parks or during the windy kite season unless the skirt is fitted.

What the high and the mighty, the self-righteous and those with inappropriate bodies must understand is that the World cannot strive without change and sometimes people need to change their drab office outfits and tattered home clothes, and show the World why months of oatmeal for breakfast and squats in the gym are good for the human body and spectators. Immorality is not only geographic but in the minds of those who strive on their need to be offended.

Missile Shield TM


Missile Shield

CEPEP gangs have now become famous for using the latest innovations in technology and have in their arsenal, not only cutlasses and paint brushes, but weed whackers run by noisy gas engines similar to those used in first world by smaller sized grass-gangs to cut three times the amount of grass per hour. However, the latest technological breakthrough in the CEPEP grass-cutting field is not how they whack the weeds, but in a rather ingenious device called a CEPEP Missile Shield TM. This shield is used during episodes of weed whacking to prevent stray weeds and misguided stones from hitting the wrong targets such as car windscreens and pedestrians on cell phones. The CEPEP Missile Shield TM is ingenious because of its simplicity and effectiveness. The Shield is made from a piece of the foreman’s striped blanket, about two meters long and two meters high with two long pieces of old wood on opposite ends to make the apparatus look like an out of proportion banner from a Carnival Band with a measly budget and poor taste. The Shield is stretched out, and held in position by two unshielded workers who are an unwilling part of the invention. Data analyzers at CEPEP are still trying to boot up their computers but initial findings have suggested that less drivers and pedestrians are chasing down, and cussing up CEPEP workers. Nevertheless, the full extent of the injuries being nursed by the missile shield holders is not likely to be acknowledged in this millennium.

Geography Gone Terribly Wrong


Until yesterday, I had never seen the names of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago swapped on a map, even in kindergarten, and I never expected the reputable people at CNN news to be the ones to do so. The mistake is understandable since the name of the country is Trinidad and Tobago and people normally read from top to bottom except in strip joints where people read from the bottom to the top.

Trinidad and Tobago is one country but they are two separate islands. This was not apparent to the high-paid map designer at the international news agency.  The mistake was funny in the beginning but like all good jokes repeated twice every hour, it became a source of anger for those who knew exactly where Trinidad is and why Virgin Atlantic flying to Tobago is considered mostly mislabeled cargo. I can only hope that this mistake will not be repeated for the next news-worthy event where both the country and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago have to be featured on a map at news time.