Corruption in Trinidad and Tobago – An Overview

It takes two to fuel corruption, the corrupter and the corruptee and just like the chicken and the egg no one knows for sure who came first but many are glad they are both here. I often wonder what Trinidad and Tobago would be like without corruption. Would there be as many high-price condos, Benz, Beamers, Jaguars, Audis, Porsches, Range Rovers, highways, box drains, flights to the US, high foreign exchange demands, happiness and scantily clad women on the scene. Would there even be a national stadium much less a big abandoned one down South. Would the churches even get as much forgiveness money and the millions to thank their gods for the wealth?

Corruption is a striving industry in Trinidad and Tobago and it is many things to many people and everything to some politicians. It is the way some public servants can face wealthy business men without the shame of overdue mortgage payments and middle-class poverty hanging over their heads. Corruption is possibly nature’s way of leveling a playing field or building an airport. It is always good to speak out on corruption and probably almost as good as getting away with it. The institutions to prevent or discourage corruption in this country are incorruptible and without the boosterless brakes they provide, corruption would not be as sophisticated as it is today.

The politicians like to suggest on the political stage that without corruption there will be more money for schools, teachers, poverty and drugs but without corruption there might not be a single person willing to get into politics. Corruption brings hope to not only the politician, the businessman, and the public servant, but to the nation and the better investigative journalists. Corruption not only feeds us, it entertains us on Sunday. It provides legal fees to half-dead lawyers and their lawyer friends. It gives the underpaid lawyers in the DPP’s office more work than they can handle. It is probably the predicted growth in the corruption industry which prompted the building of a huge law school down south. Corruption is addictive and any attempt to stop it will cause bribes to be paid to unstop it. Like fleas and ticks corruption is nearly impossible to get rid of and sucks our blood to stay alive.

Trinidad and Tobago – Your Stones Will Be Unturned, Again



In what can only be described as uncharacteristic brilliance after a national tragedy, our local police made a prompt arrest of a group of suspected hit men, seized their high tech weapons and two bags of doubles within minutes after the group allegedly carried out a daring assassination of an well-known state prosecutor just after 12:00 am last night. The police was able to make this arrest and interception  because of the multitude of working and expensive CCTV cameras along the route were actually working and being monitored for a change. These phenomenally expensive high tech cameras were purchased using taxpayer’s money and installed by the usual high-priced government approved contractors, and monitored by an unknown, but strangely intelligent state agency that were not using the cameras to monitor girls with short dresses and low tops on the Avenue.

When the Ag. CoP was asked to comment he repeatedly said in a comforting manner “Not all murders are hits and but all hits are murders.” However, the Minister of National Security was relieved that something finally went right after a murder. When asked to comment on the National Security breakthrough the Minister blushed uncontrollably, yet sadly, and said the Prime Minister was planning to once again have every stone unturned. He said the PM was ready to offer a reward, which was less than the lotto, for vital information on the assassination, to anyone who craved sudden death via bullets from high-power rifles at close range. The Minister admitted, though he was the God of National Security,  had no clue if the reward would have been tax exempt, delivered via an anonymous wheelbarrow or could be used in the afterlife. 

As for the motive for the gruesome murder, the Minister said they (the hit men) thought we were stupid and wanted to make us look bad internationally. When asked if the hit was an attempt to destabilize the country he said no, as the country was already mentally unstable long before this.  

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The Latest Cigarette Advertisement in Trinidad and Tobago

Cigarette Advertising in Trinidad and Tobago

Cigarette Advertising in Trinidad and Tobago

According to the Ministry of Health’s website:

17. Does the Tobacco Control Act really prohibit advertising? Under which circumstances is advertising of tobacco products allowed?

Indeed, the Tobacco Control Act has placed prohibitions against advertising.

There are, however, some limitations to the prohibitions:

A person may advertise a tobacco product by information advertising or brand preference advertising by way of:

a. A publication that is provided by mail and addressed to an adult smoker who is identified by name.

b. A publication that has an adult readership of not less than eighty –five per cent (85%)

c. Signs in a place where children (under 18 years) are not permitted by law.

Please note that these allowances do not apply to lifestyle advertising* or advertising that could be construed on reasonable grounds to be appealing to children.

The loophole which the eager-for-revenue local newspaper people might use in carrying this cigarette ad is that children don’t read much anymore and children see newspapers as a legacy product waiting to become extinct.

I, an adult by age, was drawn to this ad and my initial reaction was “so cheap.” No doubt this latest salvo by a clever company had more than the bland informational effect it was supposed to theoretically have. I almost had the urge to run down to the nearest dealer and start my addiction while I still had a few extra dollars. Though cigarettes are at the top of the list of addictions that will quite likely kill you in several ways, so to does alcohol, fried chicken, corn curls, cell phones, fast cars, promiscuous shapely women and political parties.

I don’t think this cigarette newspaper ad was necessary and it was in very poor taste. All that was needed was the dealers carry a pamphlet with the new prices which informs the addicted why they are paying more for their own tragic demise. Why should the nonsmoker also  have to know about the latest price increase while being tempted to look cool with minty breath? Greed for increased profits at the expense of human life is usually the answer.


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Rhine II – WTF!!

This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”

I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.

All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the  photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.


Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.

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Lady Gaga HeartBeats In-Ear Headphones

Lady Gaga Headphones by Dr. Dre and Monster

If you ever wanted to stand out in crowd but were afraid to show more skin than the situation calls for then the Lady Gaga HeartBeats In-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk is what you need to stick in your ears. Amazon had these strange-looking-for-no-reason-but-strangeness ear-buds nicely priced at US$89.99 instead of the normal US$129 for just two hours today in their Gold Box Deal but being so far away from payday only the wealthy and deranged managed to take advantage of this once in a lifetime offer. The big question is not if these ear-buds sound good but can it drive away crows and cobeaux. I am sure they do as that might have been the designers subconscious mission.

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Coca-Cola Around the World – Part 1

Coca-Cola is the universal word of planet Earth. It is even more universal than the words “no” or “WD40.” In fact Coca-Cola has proven to be more sought-after than WD40, duct tape or political power. If you land in a strange country where a different language is spoken and afraid of being detained because you lost your passport, just say Coca-Cola -not coke- and the chances are great the immigration officials will think you come in peace and are from this planet. Coca-Cola has become such an important part of the life of humans the first words of a child is usually “mama” and  “dada” closely followed by “Coke ” then “KFC.” There is nothing wrong with being attached to a commercial product even though it contains mainly sugar and water since to be commercial is to be human.





Statue of Dr. John Pemberton,inventor of Coca-Cola, outside the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta

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