Archive for March, 2013

Restoring Power

Posted: March 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last night (observed as Holy Thursday) the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago experienced a complete nationwide blackout with no corner of the country remaining with ‘current.’ The energy sector has been under scrutiny as of late after the Minister of Energy announced their grand flop on a 30 Billion deal with Saudi Arabian investors a few months ago. But like with every disaster and scandal this Government could never just leave it as that. There seems to always be a follow up of further chaos in the affected sector/office which not only raises more questions but spirals out of control into a Public Relations melee aimed at the citizens and hoping to appeal to the ideal tribal worship nature of many of the country’s sheep posing as people. With much of the country in a total Good Friday shutdown (some places for over 14 hours), the Government takes action by trying to turn doing their job into them being heroes, and reveals evidence that suggest that the entire incident itself was a conspiracy level fraud.

First it must be noted that there was an unusually aggressive police presence in certain places, some police officers armed with military grade assault rifles. Brushed off as “night before the holiday” security measures, the citizens turn a blind eye, expecting that all is as it should be. Around 1:15am, a power outage is experienced nationwide. With all clubs shut down, (except one in PoS with a generator but with allegedly no “vibez”), the liming continues unquestioned until early hours of the morning. After all, it is a holiday, nothing to do for most anyway, and with the consistent surges and outages over the last year or so, it was usual to be restored in only a few ours…so we thought… Good Friday in full swing, or not, as church goers bathed in buckets because of water issues due to the situation, and cooking was on a hold to prepare for the ‘4 day weekend.’ reports of the incident being due to a ‘gas leak.’

The Situation and Response: The PM, had a prepared statement broadcast on the matter. Most prominent in the statement was what the PM had ordered in the situation. All fair and in line so far. Army and Police deployed, emergency procedures initiated, nothing outside of standard procedure, except that the ones captivated by nothing other than the fact that their beloved Party was in office were jumping for joy. Next time the Garbage truck comes I hope they run behind the truck to shake the man riding on the back’s hand one time. Necessary PR to some, Rubbish in praise for all. The following response however was concerning and this is where the ‘stuepses’ flow and the questioning begins.’

The PM’s Social Media Manager wastes no time whatsoever posting pictures early in the day. In fact it was an entire Album of the PM visiting the PowerGen Power Plant. With a Hard Hat and a Soft Smile she tours the facility, sits in engineer’s chairs, and acts generally like she knows what she is doing. All while parts of the Nation are still without power. Not sure how a tour of the facility and playing house in a Power Plant helps the situation, but this Government is stuck in the twilight zone anyway. It could be noted that Penal’s power was restored in only 3 hours while Deigo Martin’s in 14 hours, but that may just be stretching it and splitting hairs (we’d hope…). In all of the PR parading and propaganda-ing, something very odd stood out in the photos. The Digital PowerGen clock in the background of the picture displayed a time just after 9pm, over 3 hrs BEFORE the blackout (highlighted in pic). Think that’s all? How about another picture with the PM shaking a worker’s hands at the entrance and at the top right corner in the background we can see the streetlights OUTSIDE of the compound down the road on(see highlighted in pic)…Conspiracy? Try fact…something is going on that they aren’t telling us, but how far does it go and how far are they willing to take it?

We must note that this national incident comes on the backdrop of an international news report revealing that our Minister of National Security is under investigation by the FBI and that it is suspected that his son is unable to leave the USA as he is assisting them with investigations. The PM on the same night of this cancelled an urgent post cabinet meeting where she was suppose to discuss this matter, claiming that she was “sick.” Too sick to have a meeting about an international scandal and white collar crisis but not too sick to tour a facility for a photoshoot? This again following the international media hitting our Government for the Police walkout of rat and bat infested stations. And of course the international media association, Caribbean media association, and Trinidad and Tobago Media association condemning the statements and action of our Government as being an outright and consistent attack on Freedom of the Press. This week has been devastating for the government in terms of their handling of matters and PR in general. On a world scale we are in the gutter, thanks to poor governance and shameless politicking to avoid doing what is right and protect those who do what is wrong, once they have friends in office (of a file on officeholders). Questions need to be answered, but like the PM’s directive to her Cabinet Ministers to “Keep Quiet” on matters involving the National Security Minister, a Government gag order will likely to soon be out, leaving our Nation in the Dark once more.

Give Them a Show!

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

On Monday night, the UNC continued their Public meetings called the Monday Night Forums, but better known to the Population at large as the Monday Night Circus. Like any good Circus, this comes with Acrobats jumping around on issues, Fire Eaters trying to swallow accusations, and many many Cabinet level Clowns. What started during a high point of this Government’s popularity but died a natural death as the people were not seen as important enough to address once power was secure. Now that the Government has had it’s image shattered beyond repair in the wake of Section 34, and immediately following with the sloppy and despicable response to the Kublalsingh Hunger Strike, they have seen it fit to revamp the Monday Night For’em.

Flashback to last year November, when the Generalissimo Jack said that the Dr.  “he should hurry and do so (die) quickly.” The same meeting forum where the PM implied that anyone against her is sexist. The same forum where the Minister of Housing called family support “a Cult” when it is against questionable actions of the Government. Remember, or at least get the idea now of how many dancing bears were on stage and back flips performed in a shallow attempt to entertain the people? This, with Cepep and URP, and some of their family in live attendance, did little more to reveal just how sick Ministers’ words can be, and plunge the Government lower in their popularity rating.

Fast forward to Monday of this week. What did we see? The Circus back again and in full form! What could be a better rebuttal in the face accusations of being under investigation by the DPP via the Integrity Commission than “No YOU!” The Minister of Sports (who seems to be having trouble deciding weather he is a UNC or COP as his orders are probably not in Spanish), apart from taking action in filing a law suit against a Guardian Media Journalist, he went on claiming that she has inexplicably purchased an expensive vehicle (CRV) and taken shopping trips abroad. This was revealed with no proof and the journalist the next day responded with utter confusion as there was nothing to back Anil’s Claims, no CRV or passport stamps seen. Not sure if he knows what defamation is, or even what media is. He appears to be trying to use Media as a tool to strike at the reputation of a Journalist who is calling him out. Good luck Anil trying to fight a shark in water.

Now the Project Manager of this who production, or at least the one who is being portrayed a, had to at least attempt to steal the show. She takes her chance to speak to announce that she is declaring no war on the media. Despite her administration seeking to bring a Bill to parliament at the end of last year to curtail the Freedom of the Press, demanding that the media give the Government an hr a day of air time on each media station to air what they please, and of course the Minister of National Security slapping a newspaper on air letting a Journalist who reported against him “I know where you live!” she claims to be in support of Media. In the same over-proof breath she has the media on alert that the Government will have to get 5 minutes every hour of everyday to air things which they consider “important” for the nation. Sense? To hell with this, this is the “PP” Government isn’t it? The head of the Trinidad and Tobago Media Association, refusing to have the media taken for a fool by being boldface bullied with a smile by those in high office, condemns the direction in which the Government is going in regards to the media. Like they have so quickly forgotten what the Media did to Patos when he stormed the station and attempted to hijack air time. We have a good idea how this battle will end….

Thought Parliament and constant paid political commercials (which are not announced as paid for, or political) were enough? Nah man! Good governance is so lacking in this country that there must be performances rather than performance on an ongoing basis in order to (attempt to) fool the people, and keep the loyalists and sycophants loyal and sycophantical. So all in all, we are treated every now and again to a special Circus on Monday nights with some of our favorite performers, who have become adept at having the nation laughing when we should be crying.

To Mamaguy a Nation

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

In May of 2010, the dictatorially boldface regime of  Patrick Manning came to a crash with a 29-12 whipping in the General Elections. A Coalition of different Parties, supported by a wide range of interest groups (especially of the activist community) took office in what we thought was change, then made us think we exchanged, and now here in 2013 realize that we were short changed. What we have seen over the last 3 years, now that ‘Kamla-Mania’ is over and the dust has settled in the Anti-Manning wake, is the same mamaguy politics of the past, but with considerably more deceitfully aggressive approach. We have at hand many different issues that point towards an attack against our very democracy, in the guise of ‘serve the people, serve the people, serve the people.’ The people are being served table scarps while those in power grab at every succulent morsel of legal entitlement that they can find. 

PM makes a play on words, twisting and perverting legality in a political lie to the public. “The army is to fight war, and there is no war here, except a war on crime.” Not addressing the real purposes of the military force from the perspective of governance and implying a broad definition of ‘war.’  A politically sexy, and legally ugly statement. Hoping that the people of the country will dive into this shallow statement out of fear of a prevalent crime situation which the current administration has done nothing to address outside of a knee jerk reaction and blaming the opposition (despite their 3 year absence from power). Hoping for the sycophant  loyalist, and fearful vote, at the very best they succeed and give the Minister of National Security his own private 1000 man Army Flying Mongoose Squad, at the very least the Bill is shot down, and the Government resorts to their age old tactic of blaming the opposing party. When all you know how to use is a Hammer, you treat every problem as a Nail I guess…

Now no commentary about the Government mamaguying the people would ever be complete without mention of the Corruption of the Parliament (COP). In the latest mid-term smokescreen campaigning, the Consultation on Constitutional Reform has been launched, with a hidden budget, and a circus display of public meetings. Like any good mamaguy, flair is essential  and nothing says ‘Epic’ like a deep voice over ad on the radio, introducing Prakash ‘Integrity for sale cheap cheap’ Ramadhar, making him sound like the greatest thing since home delivered roti. The ads and website seem to focus more on the Legal Affairs Minister than the idea of Constitutional reform itself, which many assume is the purpose anyway in the ever growing height of his unpopularity. Let us pretend for a minute that the Constitutional Reform consultations was to go through. Do we really want the same individuals who’s names were called in allowing the Section 34 Fiasco to take place to be editing our Constitution? Far less with the now trademark style of consulting for consulting’s sake that was highlighted when the Government agreed to an independent technical review of the Highway, then proceeded despite the Review pointing towards halting the project as major flaws were discovered and needed to be addressed before the project could continue in any sensible way.

There are many additional matters of national mamaguying that took place, from the Minister of National Security saying to hold him accountable if crime is not reduced in 6 months (which is now worse than ever with dismembered and maimed bodies being found weekly), to the assurance that the Government stand strong when the only signs of strength point to a dedication to cabal control of the Cabinet. We are in dark times, where the shadow of uncertainty and fear are being manipulated to lead us to a place when the otherwise blind would be in control of those of us who can see, by having enough support to enjoy a Dictatorial Majority of powers.  

Crime Bail Out

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

With Crime being on the rise for the last 3 years and reaching the point now of being totally out of control, we are in a situation where we are in desperate need of reform in all areas of Criminal Justice from the police to the jailhouses. However, rather than propose and pass legislation that would allow for a more progressive and fair approach in all aspects of justice, where criminals would feel the brunt of the law and those innocent will receive the protection provided by the law. The latest end run around good legal reasoning, comes from one of our greatest legal minds, whose mind seems to be on vacation. The Attorney General is proposing legislation to make Firearm offenses (including possession) a non-bailable offense, i.e. bail cannot be granted. What comes to mind immediately are images of vicious gang members being separated from their weapons and locked away from the get go. What happens however when we let the fear of our current crime situation subside and look at this proposal from a holistic and unclouded view? When reason and sense come to mind we can see through this hard face into a squishy interior of political puss that infects much of what is passed off by those in authority as a solution. 

No Bail coming for Gun accused is the cry of the Government to reflect what the public would like to hear, shaping what they may thing. First of all, it is important to understand that bail is not a matter of you ‘pay and get off.’ Bail is the court allowing the accused to be released from jail until the calling of the trial under certain conditions and are monitored by the police (being required to do mandatory check ins, drug tests etc.). Also understand that in cases of murder whether gun of not, no bail can be granted due to the severity of it. Once someone is held for a summary (minor) offence it is up to the magistrate’s discretion to grant bail based on the basis of the severity of the charge and how much of a threat it is to have that person on bail until the trial is called. All of this is taken into consideration. When the trial is called, the person must go through the full process and face the penalty outlined by the law, bail or not.

Now that that is out of the way, this new proposal does nothing but further perpetuate the stereotype that a man charged is a man convicted. With no bail the Judiciary’s hands will be tied in not being able to make a reasonable call on bail for each particular circumstance. What does this say now about the presumption of innocence which is the basis of our criminal proceedings? This will be compromised, making the outward image of the proceedings to appear as guilt presumed on the accused. Then comes in the even more personally serious issue of abuse. There are many instances of Police planting guns on people, and cases where there is at least a reasonable doubt as to the situation of a person possessing a firearm and/or ammunition. So the mandate will be jail from the point of accusation, to possibly be beaten and raped until they reach a court months later, or cave into the abuse and sign a confession no matter what it says in hopes of escape for some time? The magistrate or judge in sitting is no fool , and in the best of a professional opinion to advance each matter from bail to jail. 

We have here something that can, quicker than fix the gun crime situation overnight, turn into an overnight mess, defiling the basis of our law and violate our simplest safeguards in one foul swoop. We must never let fear cloud our good judgement. We need smarter and progressive legislation, as well as proper policing, not the over-glorified shots in the dark that we accept when power is in the hands of those who want to give us only what looks good on the surface. There is such a deep rot underlying that we can taste it in our everyday lives in so many areas, this proposal being rotten from the inside from the get go, whether we or even the Government sees it or not.