You, my average imaginary fan, must be wondering why I did not update this blog for so long. It has been five years and you probably thought that I was either dead or in prison. No such luck. I was not even depressed or ill and I didn’t update it due to boredom. Yes, blog boredom. It could be that social media allowed me to vent and disagree easier than a blog but I am not fed up with social media, or as our Prime Minister calls it, antisocial media. I agree with his description but in social media, if you want hate and destructive arguments then you will find it and too easily at times. I have blocked people, unfriend others and even taken down posts because it was causing turmoil among followers. Well, I am not here to lament social media too much but hope to restart my blog. Just wait and see if I can get into the habit again. TTYL
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.
After reading the interview in the Daily Express today with Flow’s CEO I can’t help come to the conclusion that Flow is a sleazy and even corrupt organization. Imagine they were selling channels they had no rights to for five years and use the excuse they did not know who to pay – yes five years. This is like renting out a house you do not own to people and pocketing all the money because you do not know who owns the house. That is a crime, Flow. Flow had to be either stupid or corrupt and since they are making millions I don’t think they are stupid.
Does Flow know that DirecTV does not behave in this type of underhand and sleazy manner as Flow and DirecTV is now gaining subscribers at a fast rate due to having a superior product at better prices than Flow – honesty pays. All I can conclude is that Flow was playing a waiting game because they know how ineffective the telecom authorities were. Flow was gaining customers with stolen channels and now they are exposed and embarrassed for being big time thieves they are all over the place making feeble excuse after feeble excuse. What a big pack of corrupt jokers. As a customer I don’t want any rebate, I just want to see heads roll, or even flow. That would be satisfying enough. Anyway, I do have some questions for Flow
(1) If the telecom authority (TATT) did not step in would you still be carrying those channels?
(2) Do you think you misrepresented your channel lineup to customers by giving them the impression they were paying for these channels as you were also paying for them?
(3) Is Flow’s corporate policy to steal and not get caught?
Skamla vs Rowdy is the best way to summarize the 2015 General Election in Trinidad and Tobago. When a friend from foreign asked how everything was shaping up I had to ask what things. I am probably not as enthralled by the political parties with proven track records as plunderers, and mismanages as the rest of the population so I might just throw away my vote and ask for Jack to be our next Prime Minister. Don’t puke yet since Jack, as sleazy as he looks and probably is, is the real thing. He can’t hide his past as it is in the media, and blogs all over the world as well as YouTube. You see we know Jack only cares about us because he has dedicated much of his current life to sinking the monster he created, Skamla and trying not to go to jail in the U.S. We know where he stands even if he stands in quicksand. With Skamla and Rowdy you don’t know for sure who is pulling the strings but we are confident the strings are being pulled by unknown forces probably with devious and more devious agendas.
The problem is that Skamla had over five years to be better than Manning and you would have thought that would have been easy but she made this into the hardest job in the world. It should have been so easy not to be mad and run the country sanely but she blew it with bad choice after bad choice. As for Rowdy, I am not afraid of him as Skamla and her minions tell me I should be but I am afraid of several of his visible and invisible followers eyeing the spoils of the land. I am afraid of the typical PNM unfairness waiting to be be unleashed just as the Partnership unleashed theirs over the last five years.
Power is addictive as cocaine and currant rolls so the People’s Partnership need their fix and so does the PNM. When they ask us to vote for them they are asking us to help them and a select handful of people to become dignitaries who will watch down on us with the scorn they think we deserve probably because we were dumb enough to vote for them.
In short, I want a government to be fair, to not thief, to make logical decisions, to get rid of Port of Spain as a place of work, to stabilize the supply of foreign exchange, to lock up the Mr Bigs and to not have to worry about Government created drama featured in every Sunday newspapers. From what I can see this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
I have a theory which says that a Government must be changed every five years as this is the only way to put the breaks on the corruption juggernaut they have nurtured and cared for during their term in office. If this juggernaut is not stopped then the corruption wave will continue to grow at an exponential rate and by the end of a second five year term it will become an out of control Godzilla. In other words it will become we culture. Also, by putting a new party in power the corruption dollars and favors would have been shared between the very select few and fortunate of the party in power. This is a type of proportional representation that was quietly proposed by the vibrant corrupt sector of our blessed land.
Unfortunately both the proverbial and actual man-in-the-street will be out of pocket by the total amount amount of corruption dollars that is pocketed by the few and fortunate. It will not matter which party you vote as the tax man doesn’t discriminate and 99.999% of all citizens will have to fund both the unelected and elected corrupt.
Like cockroaches and the poor, the corrupt will always be with us only the color of their jerseys may be different. Don’t be fooled by highways and railroads as your vote is not about that. Your vote isn’t even about getting a better quality of life or a reduction in crime or an increase in parking spots in Port of Spain. Your vote is about corruption and only corruption, everything else they say is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of choosing our evil.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the coup attempt in Trinidad and Tobago and it is a sad and constant reminder of why we should have canned foods in our cupboards, money in our pockets, gasoline in our tanks and paid up cell phone bills.
Recent events such as the Dana Seetahal murder in 2014, the Life Sport Program, the arrest of no less than eleven people over the weekend for the Dana Seetahal murder more that a year ago, the violent prison break at the Royal Goal on Frederick Street last Friday, the killing of two of the three escaped prisoners and the surrendering of the third on Sunday may not even be connected as I have not done any data mining to see if there might be a pattern to connect the dots of the events. Of course if you look hard enough there might be a pattern but coincidences do happen. All I can say for sure is that there is at least one Mr. Big out there as eleven men cannot hate a Senior Council that much.
Trinidad and Tobago is a comical place and it’s not just because the name of the country is so long there is not enough space on many of its own official Forms to accommodate its spelling. No, it is funny because of the amount of people who operate in their own little vacuums all over the place. People who swear their vacuum is the the right vacuum and the best one. Take the so-called Debates Commission vacuum. This Commission is trying to get at least the two most likely potential leaders to debate “issues affecting the Country” on the same day. When I read the daily hullabaloo in the content-starved daily media about the ups and downs of staging this sideshow you would swear this Great Debate would be very influential in influencing the public in deciding which hangman will pull the leaver. Grow up Debates Commission, this is Trinidad and Tobago where people decide which party they voting long before they are even conceived. Besides, politicians always say the the nicest things possible when General Elections is in the air so who needs this sweet talk and cheap talk moderated on live TV by people who most likely don’t even know what the daily life in Biche or Icacos is really like or that these towns even exist. Just tell us who the major shareholders are for each party and we good to go.
In my opinion it’s easy to identify an idiot by the statements they make and politicians are people who generally make stupid statements which the public is not aware are stupid statements. This is so because the public often make these same statements and, through the grace of god, they are not burdened with the ability to even realize this.
However, the healthy minister of health, probably due to a big gut reaction or lack of blood flowing to the brain at the time, unfairly turned the fragile public opinion against Chinese people of Trinidad and Tobago with his pronouncement on the dog-skinning video making its way on social media. This is unfortunate as it seems Mr. Minister was too trigger-happy and probably let his personal biases loose in public as election fever grabs political candidates by their proverbial real balls and squeeze at regular and frequent intervals. The results of this frequent squeezing being the senseless utterances by the numerous and professionally senseless politicians of Trinidad and Tobago.
It is sad to think that despite his lack of a properly wired brain Mr. Minister might be a candidate in the upcoming general elections and sadder that he might still be as popular with the voting public despite strong evidence proving he is the second leading candidate for Country Idiot with Jack Warner being number one for some time now.
The dog-skinning video is sick but even sicker is the Minister’s love for hate. One video dose not a case make, unless you are an idiot, of course.
Local personality, charming politician, and football fiend, Jack Warner, said to his tens of thousands of followers and detractors last night at the airport that corruption built,”I’ll be back.” Mr Warner, a self-made self-terminator, was about to get on a flight bound to a land not too far away. He was accompanied by armed security guards who will ensure he gets to his final destination safely.
Many were sad while many were glad. “You could say what yuh want, Jack could run he mouth,” said one supporter clad in a spent-green tee-shirt. A detractor dressed in bright yellow swore a little too casually about how Jack used to be good until he turned green. Panday, a one-time very close friend and an almost-enemy of Jack, and now a career political dead-horse, said he wanted to hug Jack but felt he might get, or even be, carried away. Ramesh, another popular, fulltime dead-horse and professional opportunist thinks Mr. Warner was misunderstood by those who liked him and fully understood by investigators.
A noticeable chunk of the general election economy will be seriously hit by Mr. Warner’s sudden departure as mike men, tee-shirt makers and green paint suppliers start to count their losses. When the leader of the Opposition was asked to comment he simply said “I told you so.” The Prime Minister did not immediately return calls for a comment from this blog but shortly after released a brief statement saying “Jack Who?”
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.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has declared 2015 The year of the Hot Crossed Buns and in marking the occasion Hot Crossed Buns will be distributed through the country to every citizen and visitor, both legal and illegal. Naturally, a contract has been awarded to a new but mysterious baking company called Sistrum. This blog was reliably informed that it was only on Monday the Government went out to tender for the Manufacture and National Distribution of Hot Crossed Buns with an Extra Cross (Double Crossed Buns). The tender was evaluated on Tuesday and awarded the same day. Only one bid was received (Sistrum) and was said to meet and exceed all the requirements of the bun specification including the raisins per bun, thickness of the crosses, minimum bun diameter, amazing golden color and mouth-watering smell. The whole process was transparent.
A spokes person for Sistrum said the buns will be the first thing they ever bake and they already had the conveyor belts used in a quarry to crush local stones. It was only last week Sistrum received 1000 mega-large ovens from China and a Hot Cross Bun expert. Asked how come they had the ovens and an expert on order the spokes person said it was just plain luck and they like to order all kinds of things all the time. The contract is said to be worth tens of millions of dollars given the price of Hot Cross Buns on the international market. The established large bakeries in the country think there is something fishy about the whole deal but a Sistrum executive says this was probably due to the Lenten season. When the Minister of Finance was asked where the money will be coming from to fund the buns he simply said “eat yuh bun and shut up nah.” When further pressed about the unprecedented short time (one day) for the tender he said in any country emergencies happen and items such as buns must be procured at short notice. Asked if the supply of buns was a national emergency he simply said “no bun, no fun.”
The Prime Minister, in a short release from her office, said that every man, woman and child will be given buns and people should not worry too much about the award of the contract or how much taxpayers dollars Sistrum will be getting but instead enjoy and savor the flavor of the hot, hot cross buns. The army, police, NGOs, gang leaders and Jack Warner will be given the task on ensuring an equitable distribution of the baked goods. The man-on-the-street has applauded this latest Government initiative and has cancelled orders for buns from bakeries such as Linda’s, St. Mary’s and Kiss . “We like how de government moving and everybody is entitled to freeness like education, box drains, tablets, lap tops and buns and thing. We hope we getting Easter Egg too nex year and turkey for thanks giving.”
The Police Force in Trinidad and Tobago is a joke and a despicably bad one at that. It was easy for me and nearly every citizen in this country to come to that conclusion after the deliberate act of terror unleashed by Police onto the population in the form of nationwide roadblocks of Friday 20th March 2015 and Monday 23 March 2015. This caused people who had to go into Port of Spain for work to get there in 5 hours instead of the usual 1 hour or so. These roadblocks were meant to cause nationwide chaos and to terrorize the population, nothing else.
The reasons for these acts of terror are not apparent but some say it was meant to send a signal to the Government and population by the Police Force that something like the July 27th 1990 coup is on the near horizon. Others say it was tied to the wage negotiation with the Government which is not going in the Bully’s favor. Regardless of the reason the deliberate act of terrorism by the Police Force it showed the country, in a most convincing manner, why crime is out of control in this country. It now appears that most of the Police Force are thugs, bullies and genuine idiots who are not interested in protecting and serving anyone but themselves and their Master. It now appears to the public that most of the members of the Police Force are either borderline criminals or practicing criminals and little else. They are much like the Government.
It sounded like a joke to me but the Minister of National Security (not Gary Griffith) launched an investigation into who gave the orders to terrorize the country. This investigation will take two weeks which is a ridiculous amount of time to find out who is the Mr. Big of the Police Force. Would heads be rolling after the report is read and then understood by the powers that be? Would arrests be made and the Terrorists tried in court? I doubt there will be a productive outcome of the investigation since inaction by the coward Government is more their style. Maybe Kamla will stall, fumble and mumble and then call a Commission of Enquiry so that friends of The Party could continue to fill their pockets with funds of the Treasury. It is this continuous enrichment of the chosen minority which has angered all of us and if this blatant “thiefing” by the People’s Partnership is not stopped and remedied then the uneasiness will continue. I hope this Government is able to understand what the writing on the wall is saying and it is not saying “thanks for all the box drains.”
Anyway, it’s too late for this Ali Baba so let’s elect another.
Road blocks by the police, and not burning tires and old fridges dragged across the roads are the cause of the latest horrific and unbearable traffic jam heading into Port of Spain this morning. Some say the local police, not know for their ability to fight crime very well, are using roadblocks to press for a wage increase. Some say if this is what the police are indeed doing then it is a form of terrorism. However, I am one of those citizens who do not believe radio DJs and refuse to acknowledge our police officers will stoop lower than a FIFA executive to get a few hundred dollars a month more from tax payers. The Police will never make children suffer for hours in traffic or get the Beetham bandits to steal from motorist trapped in a roadblock which is protecting and serving those who need the money most.
Like the wannabe likable politician will say “Most police officers are honest and hard working men and women. They don’t beat up all honest citizens, they don’t get involved in many car stealing rings, they don’t carry much coke and weed in their trunks for drug dealers, and they respond well to crime and criminals.”
The Police Force is here to protect like a condom and serve like a diseased Union Leader without a condom. The Police will not force the country to its knees even if it has the ability to do so on any morning they choose to go into self-service mode. The Police can easily bankrupt the nation’s productive ability and confidence in them in a flash. Need we be reminded in traffic again? It appears the Police just stated that this is either now a Police State or Police in a state.
For too long the term Carnival Mentality was used in a very derogatory manner to describe the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. When someone is described as possessing a Carnival Mentality it means that person is lazy, carefree, unproductive, promiscuous and prone to smiling too much while having the ability to enjoy oneself in the most genuine of ways. It meant the person or country with this mentality can achieve nothing meaningful in life even though they showed true signs of real happiness. I might have agreed with this statement several years ago but I can’t anymore.
Trinidad and Tobago is now a world Carnival powerhouse and to do so requires the country to be productive all year as such an event can not be created in a couple months. Carnival involves so many people from nearly all sectors effectively planning and producing in now what seems like second nature to the country.
The organizational abilities to pull off one small all-inclusive fete are tremendous much less the big ones like Beach House, Brian Lara, Moka and UWI. The Carnival big bands like Bliss, Fantasy, Harts, Island People and Yuma are now million dollar companies operating throughout the year and survive and grow using prudent and innovative business skills and not laziness as previously advertised.
The musical talent which Carnival produces is nothing short of mind boggling and I wonder if it was not for Carnival would there be so much young people taking pan, guitar, keyboard and violin lessons in Trinidad and Tobago? Machel Montano and Machel Monday is now a worldwide phenomenon which not only shows off musical talent but professionalism both on stage and behind the scenes. This is not a one man show but it involves hundreds working in sync towards the goal of perfection and a properly working sound system. This concert is nothing short of exceptional in terms of planning, organizing and enjoyment.
The Carnival Mentality has now given rise to the growth of the fitness and health obsessed in Trinidad and Tobago. These individuals are increasing in numbers yearly. The obsessed and not so obsessed now frequent gyms and reduce bar visits and hence drunkenness simply to look dynamite in a carnival costume. Sadly, this does give rise to highly egoistic people with a craving for tight clothes and loose eyes.
Carnival also drives the detractors to buying more books and it has produced a few book worms who are hopefully more beneficial to society than the scantily clad but the world needs the scanty just as much for it gives life purpose. The bookworms and noise-phobic make every effort to avoid the hedonist who revel and ogle at the revelers. It is only because of this Carnival Mentality they can now boast about their sense of moral superiority. You always need the bad to make the good look and feel better.
Without Carnival and the new Mentality it produces we would be just be another island in the sun selling rabid boredom to the rabidly boring.