Just over one million citizens are registered to vote in the General Elections in Trinidad and Tobago today. This election season has been a hard, uncomfortable and a wasteful time for most citizens except for mike men, jersey men, stage providers, political songsters and political paraphernalia providers. By 10:00 p.m tonight most of the writing will be on the political wall and a victorious party will emerge setting off fireworks disturbing dogs, cats, birds and the losing party. So one party will win and one party will lose, one party will be appointed the official plunders while the other will look on in envy. Regardless of which party wins Jack Warner will lose and that is the one victory the country can celebrate together. Mr. Warner is a bitter man who has enough money to be uniformly miserable for the rest of the life he chooses to have.
Despite who loses, I will continue to go Movietowne twice a month and avoid chicken fried in old oil and once a month if the dollar is devalued. Politicians in Trinidad and Tobago are all about smoke and mirrors, creating the illusion of hope and despair and never talking or dealing with the truth. If a new party, the PNM, comes into power then their revenge on the old party will be brutally executed while attempting or pretending to attempt to steady the economy. If the Peoples Partnership wins then they will be sure to continue their nepotism and favoritism and blunders as if the last five years never happened. This is the hope the country has to look forward to tonight.
Fortunately, I don’t have to listen for the results and commentary by biased and ignorant “Political Analyst” on both sides of the divides as the sound of fireworks from my neighbor, or no sound at all will tell me who won. It is a no-win-no-win situation.
People and economist are saying that Trinidad and Tobago is living beyond its means and that is contributing to the drain on foreign exchange in the country. This was no doubt made worse in the short term by the flood of back-pay to public servants. Also, our spending habits such as buying too many cars and flooding “skyboxes” with goodies all year round is no doubt a big drain but I can say from observation that the forex drain from buying imported cars far outweigh the purchases via individuals’ skyboxes.
But the real cause of this drain is too much disposal income due to heavily subsidized basic needs such as water, electricity, prescription medicine, gasoline, laptops, GATE and canned foods. If we were to pay a less subsidized portion of these items then there would be less money to make the unimaginative big time importers of everything even less imaginative and innovative. The motto of these companies seems to be “just bring it down and it will sell.”
Everyday you see oil prices sliding downhill worse than Jack Warner’s reputation. Everyday you see countless ads urging us to buy in order to be happy. Banks, a big beneficiary of the big disposable incomes due to big government subsidies, are all too willing to make it happen with a loan of your choice. The Minister of Finance hinted that they are concerned with how the reduction in government subsidies will affect the most vulnerable. The most vulnerable has always been the politicians’ pet and best friend so it is always in political parties interest to have as many most-vulnerable as they can create as democracy is one man one vote.
I am anxious for the elections to be over with and I do not envy the next party in power as something drastic will have to be done quickly to prevent our thin-walled economic bubble from bursting. Sink or swim, Kamla or Rowley, I want this thing called General Elections to be over so we can pay attention to the more serious things in life like the economy and how much de Government goe give we.
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.
With all that is going on the political arena in Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Express took the time to use its precious mind-swaying front-page to highlight a suspected personality flaw in the country’s top, home-grown, international Soca superstar, Machel Montano. Maybe it was because his alleged bad attitude took place at a town school fete is the reason it was given grossly exaggerated importance or some other ulterior or political motive – I don’t know. I doubt the newspaper is being paid off by some Big Men with shares and money to distract the public from the real issues that are, and have always been plaguing the nation for some time – greed, dishonesty and wife-beating abilities of our elected and selected politicians. Maybe the newspaper is trying to tell the public that the thing we saw around the dark clouds was not a silver lining but the main ingredient in an orange juice shipment.
When I read the headline article I was sadly disappointed and enraged that the sound system was not up to professional standards. Also, that the reaction by the superstar, which seems to be a rejection of sloppiness, should now engage and enrage the normally weak minds of editors, journalists and other rum-oriented citizens via the front-page is unfortunate and even tragic. That Mr. Montano might be throwing temper tantrums all over the place for some very good reasons and a couple bad ones is not new, news or close to headline news. However, the discovery of a decomposing body which might be that of the missing Caribbean Airlines director is depressing and frightful thus should be fitting as a the main headline and a lifesaver given the need to alert unsuspecting visitors merrily flocking our shores for Carnival.
We are a country whose minds are shaped by our manipulative headlines and the chronic ignorance and bias of participants of talk shows rather than our ability to analyze anything beyond the superficial and emotional surface. If citizens of the land of the Humming Bird, corbeau and rotting corpses could see beyond their biases, hate and fear we would not have elected Team Manning and certainly not even give birth to, much less voted for Team Kamla and her band of smart men and thieves.
Clever Packaging of Fast Food
Trinidad and Tobago is a frustrating country to live in not only because the police service can be selectively incompetent so as to intentionally start unrest but the population gets constant mixed signals from the authorities. On one hand foreign fast food franchises are government-encouraged and causing traffic all over the place while on the other the Minister of Health accuses citizens of being too fat and unhealthy from fast foods thus becoming a drain on the treasury. Not a big drain as kickbacks paid over the years to politicians and their friends but a drain on the public purse by the public is always looked upon with the highest disgust by holders of high office.
Hot cross bun
Yes, we as a country need food and jobs but it seems we are doing this at the expense of our health and foreign exchange. We are a bad food society and the lines of people buying fried food and chips at locations nationwide will always vastly outnumber the amount of people lining up to greet any former political hero on his or her way to buy something down town. I can sympathize with the Minister of Health’s frustration as citizens always complain about the level of health care available while lounging on a couch, enjoying KFC and a massive Pepsi backed up with a current roll without raisins.
Despite high taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, these companies are immensely profitable due to the addictive nature of their products and the foolish people who buy them. It is no different with fried food with salt. High taxes are never a deterrent with addictions and taxing bad food to pay for dialysis seems as foolish as giving crooks access to the treasury and depending on integrity laws to keep them honest.
We need to take our lives in our own hands and fight the attraction of these toxic substances being sold for high profit and packed in cleverly designed fast food boxes and brown paper bags. Saying no to bad food will benefit the economy and the happiness index of the country. The turning of our collective backs on bad foods will start a good food revolution and also force doctors into more productive and humanitarian professions such as farming and engineering. It will be a win win situation.
We found oil and since we have mislead many times in the past, we walked with samples as proof we are telling the truth
Now that some oil was found after many years of not being found, the population can stop burning tires to fix roads or protesting in front of Dopey Singh’s office since he is not fond of protests or the protesters. Not only that but the 5% freeze will be unfrozen if only to help the Poor Party get reelected. The showing off of the latest oil find with numerous ads in the press and on radio can be seen as a way to boost the local economy with misplaced confidence and without cement. The local economy seems to be stagnant and as proof ask any doubles man why he now also has to sell pholourie and biganie. The new oil discoveries are being seen by both analysts and optimists as the tip of the iceberg of more oil discoveries that will help propel an idea-starved government back into the old ways of the country and in power.
People are funny but British animal voiceovers are funnier.
Idea!! Somebody should do a voiceover for politicians to make them sound intelligent!
Dear Dr Tim,
I am a boy who was successful in the 2010 SEA examinations, and I want to express my gratefulness for the HP laptop and for your efforts in trying to protect me from bad sites that can mess up my innocent, little brain. A little brain that has seen as much real blood on the local TV news and neighborhood pavements as I have seen bulk-purchased ketchup at KFC. I was wondering though, Dr. Tim, as to what sites will I be prevented from seeing. I suppose the PNM website will be at the top of the list of bad sites but will I be able to blog freely like Jumbie, Chennette, aka, Scene, Liane, Bandi, GirlBlue, etc.? Ok, I will understand if you and your team of self-righteous educators ban aka’s wathless blog and his almost scandalous website but what about those other local blogs I mentioned. Some say these blogs can be considered national treasurers and one way of diversifying the economy. I think blogging should be taught in schools as a form of creativity and to inspire commonsense.
On the same note, my friends and I were looking at some photos of bikini models online and wondering if the Ministry of Education considers Y.U.M.A or Tribe websites to be soft-core porn or local art? Mummy says it’s soft-core but daddy has Y.U.M.A as his home page and calls the site Yahoo! Daddy says the Government supports Carnival and Carnival is everybody thing and we culture. I think Tribe has some cool costumes for Carnival 2011. What do you think, Dr. Tim? Are you into Carnival costumes? What about when a Miss Trinidad and Tobago choose to go almost topless as a form of sacrifice to promote her country and our faltering economy internationally, will I have to buy a Guardian to see the photos or will my HP provide me with these historic and heroic images during recess? Don’t worry too much as someone might BBM me the images. I hope you and your advisers don’t ban local talent from my curious, little non-pretentious eyes. Will I be able to go on Facebook like tantie Kammie and tell people about what I did in New York, Piarco or Time Magazine? I know you and your team have only a vague idea so far about how to make us brighter using an HP but these are early days and all that matters right now is keeping the easy election promises.
The Art of Trinidad Carnival
Dr. Tim, before I go, I hear people saying corporal punishment in schools is illegal but hanging murderers is not only legal but the way forward. I know I shouldn’t bother my little head with what form of killing is right or wrong for the country nor should I mix two ideas in one paragraph, much less a sentence, but will I have to use a track ball on the laptop similar to the one on my Blackberry or one of those quirky touch pads? Will there be a quick turnaround time for repairs of laptops and will my school principal be taught how to execute simple laptop repairs to minimize learning down time? Can the laptops withstand a six-foot drop on to a concrete surface and come out unscathed? Will HP appoint a local agent to handle repairs and if so, who? I wonder who these laptops are insured with? Just asking.
p.s. We all also love Uncle Jack, and mummy calls him the Elastoplast man – a plaster for every sore.
If the Government of Trinidad and Tobago wants to forbid protest during the Summit of The Americas in April they should think again. The Government agreed to host The Summit not to show off the made in China Prime Minister’s Mansion, or the modern but empty Waterfront Project but to highlight the real Trinidad and Tobago; or so he said. The Government must understand that only through protests will people see the real Trinidad and Tobago and not through elected empty vessels.
Journalists are normally not stupid and are never energized by talk but by protests and unruly behavior with a cause. Video clips of the Summit proceedings will have a dead look especially when our Prime Minister speaks or is shown in his daily, haughty, clueless pose. Only Obama will be of any interest and the rest of leaders will be faces in the crowd, hopefully not picking their noses on camera. The world craves substance in the form of real emotion and not a billion-dollar-waste-of-time.
People did not know or care where the G20 Summit was being held until the protesters jumped (danced) in front the cameras. The G20 protestors were unfortunately not there to highlight the wastefulness and corruption of the Trinidad and Tobago Government, UDECOTT, the childishness of our The Minister of Works or even the stupidity of our Minister of Finance. The protesters were there to protest a cause known as greed. The Summit of the Americas can give our local protesters, along with foreign protest consultants, a world stage to highlight both international and our version of greed, incompetence, and massive ego tripping. This is something all suffering countries will identify with. Maybe The Protest in Trinidad will become popular on YouTube and blogs and shame our Government into caring. Naturally, well staged protests will make people curious about Trinidad and Tobago and soon enough people will learn the names Patrick Manning, Calder Hart, Lawrence Duprey and Golden Grove.
I am sitting in an empty meeting room waiting for everyone to come late. There is a nice looking pencil on the table. The rubber looks unused. I am tempted to take the pencil, but I know my life may be changed forever if I do. I learnt that from TV. I grab the pencil and put it in my shirt pocket. I make my choice. I feel regret mixed with excitement. It feels good. I am sure no one would miss it and I doubt I would ever be a suspect. I am too good looking. It’s comforting to know the police have stopped searching for anything. They mainly run errands. I still need to have an alibi because I realize stealing isn’t only the act, it’s a process that never ends. I must have eternal vigilance. I will claim I took the pencil because I thought it was mine since, like the Nissan Almera, they all look alike. People are starting to come in the room and I am suddenly self-conscious. I think they are all staring at my pocket and my new pencil. I start to behave stranger than a work of fiction. I take the pencil and start to draw on my notepad instead of making vital notes. I draw a stick-figure policeman and a working police car. People are starting to make fun of my drawing. I am hoping they would understand my hidden message and my cry for affordable therapy. Some claim the working police car only exists in the fantasy world. They miss the point. I am starting to cold sweat like Crazy and I can’t think of anything but lead. I don’t like this misery and I want my less guilty life back. A voice in my head says I think too much and that’s why I suffer. The same voice says there is only one way to have a guilt free life and fans in whose eyes I can do no wrong. I decide to become a politician.