Archive for August, 2013

Burden of (Fool)Proof

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

The latest suggestion to help alleviate the crime situation in TnT comes from the Government in their trademark “Knee-Jerk” reaction, which as usual is at best ill-advised and at worse a willful absurdity to the rights of the people. The Attorney General is proposing that those held on gang charges be made to prove that they are not in a gang, rather than the prosecution having to prove that they are. In other words, once held on suspicion of being in a “Gang,” you would have to prove that you somehow are not, or face jail time and/or heavy fines. At first (like many other proposals such as “No bail for gun offenses”- the idea seems appealing to the general public as we often only think of the criminals being locked up, shocked by the out of control crime situation into believing that a half-baked thought is our saving grace.

JudgeJudyWhen the AG made the comment that he is not a Criminal Lawyer so he should not be consulted in matters of criminal law (reason for appointing a Minister of Justice who is versed in that), he was correct and proved that every time he makes a bold(face) suggestion to fight crime. The level of legal nonsense that is said makes every past Law Lord turn in their grave simultaneously, and every 3rd World Dictator proud.  No court of law would ever entertain such a ridiculous circus of having someone held and charged, to have the burden of proof shifted from the prosecution onto the defendant in these matters. There is no ground for this, as Lord Sankey said in his famous Judgement in Woolmington vs DPP “Throughout the web of the English Criminal Law one golden thread is always to be seen that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner’s guilt…” Unlike other form of shifting the burden on proof where it would be applicable, here it is not. This “hold dem now, sort later” attitude that has produced very few actual convictions is part of the reason that police raids end up as political pappy shows. To have those held just run through the courts on the basis of suspicion and with little way to prove that it is “not so,” would almost entirely equate suspicion to guilt. The jails could easily end up filled with people who do not belong there, and are in a total daze, having being stripped of their rights on one side of their face and having collected a political pimp slap on the other.

white-collar-cartoon His suggestion, once mixed with the current anti-gang legislation, can see anyone being held in a group and classified as a “gang.” The idea of suspicion of a group amounting to guilt being thrown on them until they can prove their innocence is total nonsense. I suppose that football fans now should be cautious in wearing similar shirts to support their teams, or better yet the magistrates better be ready to hear cases of actual gang youths defending themselves saying that the colours they wear are to support the Soca Warriors. Worse yet they may in turn then accuse the Magistrate of supporting inferiour sport teams, and we can’t have a magistrate who doesn’t have good judgement now can we? Jokes aside, many who wear suits and ties are guilty of gang-type activity but remained untouched, maybe if the Government had some foresight or intention of seriously tackling crime at all levels, many groups would be hauled off from board room meetings, and their unexplained fat bank accounts brought into question. But alas, Section 34, I will say no more…

Captain_Morgan_100_Proof_Spiced_Rum_1_296039We are in a desperate situation in terms of crime, but the desperate measures that the Government are proposing are seeming to be for political benefit only. Playing that the people are stupid, they continue to preach popular ignorance to a now more educated public. It is no wonder why and how the public is responding with a step above skepticism, and questioning every move that is being made. After almost 3 and a half years in power, and a “Master Crime Plan” that has ups and vanished. We are left with pieces of ideas from minds that have become so shrouded by Corruption, Nepotism, and False Fame, that the Partnership has hit an iceberg long ago, still unaware and have already dragged us into the dark depths of TnT today.

Crime can never be eradicated, merely controlled and prevented. Until the nature of man changes, We must work towards that end.

A few days ago 400 Police Officers descended on East PoS in an attempt to deal with the crime issue that saw 12 people killed in less than 24hrs (including many youths and a 16y.o pregnant girl). 90 persons were held, yet not a single firearm found. What began as a show of force ended in an embarrassing escapade as 59 persons were released the next day, some threatening to take legal action against the state for wrongful arrests and breaches of their rights as citizens. The trust in police further shaken, this undoes much of the essential efforts made in Police-Community relations which is needed in the fight against crime. This attempted clean up and now for now ’rounds up’ is what we have tried from time to time with little avail, and more problems than solutions, the the issue needs to be taken apart and analysed further. 

ImageFirst, it is sad that 400 police can be mobilized by an executive order yet calling for a police officer to respond to a disturbance/crime in certain areas is considered a waste of a phone call. This shows that the active orders operate well, while the regular and passive functions do not, which is a blow to the very foundation of Governance. Consistent and reliable policing would avoid much of the crime build up. There needs to be a steady policing function beyond just holding criminals in raids. The stop cap on crime that these raids provide for only a few days at most, has proven to do nothing in the long run.



Past that now, many were picked up on outstanding warrants, and others held for speculation and questioning. 59 Persons have been released and are threatening legal action against the state, which will cost us now in the long run with state attorney fees and any settlements that should arise. Those held wrongly may well have had information that is valuable to police, but when this is obtained in ways that compromise the legal process, how valuable is it? Unless we can convict criminals, we cannot take them off the streets. Unless we can take them off the streets, they will hold guns to our heads both metaphorically and literally. The police and prosecution need to work more closely in these matters and those in charge need to wait for a shot to line up right before firing.

ImageIt was very disturbing that not a single firearm was found in what is referred to as the heart of a gangland. This shows that the criminals are getting smarted at a faster rate than our law enforcement. This doesn’t mean that our law enforcement is stupid as per the stereotype, but that we are lagging behind in that area badly. There is also the factor coming in that it was speculated that the politically botched SoE was a time that taught the gangs to avoid these kind of crackdowns. In any case, we are faced with a fight against crime that we are quickly losing. Unless we phase out the “now-for-now” and “hold-dem-quick” attitude against crime, and focus on intelligent policing, guided by proper prosecuting from the moment a person is suspected, then the criminal will control the streets rather than occupy the prisons. Brain and brawn are both needed, one does not have to be chosen over the other.


Contracts talk, Reports walk

Posted: August 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

Development is not the physical structure, but the benefits which we obtain from what is built.

A new pathway here, an over sized monstrosity there, buildings going up and over, near and far. This is what we are taught is development. What if you were told that development is the benefit of the infrastructure and not just building something for building sake? Madness to those who believe the benefit to be filling their pockets out of our treasury, but of great sense and concern to those of us whose tax dollars are being used to perpetuate corruption. 2 recent projects which have highlighted this more than ever are in the planned construction of a $1.5B Children’s Hospital, and a near $8B Highway, with it being even worse than a case of mere negligence, but spitting on and laughing at expert findings.

ImageA Children’s Hospital. Now there is a nice idea! But how now does that work in a country where we are short of Doctors, and don’t know which way is up in Public Health Administration? Not to mention those who cannot afford cars being subjected to a deplorable public transport situation. So the building is going up with no management plan beyond theory and good thoughts. Fair enough however that the idea is good and could definitely be worth something if properly studied and implemented. What can be made of the intentions of the Government, now that experts have weighed in a report stating that the land that they plan to build it on is in a seismic zone, prone to earthquakes. On top of that, how did the $400M consulting fee that was paid not produce a proper geological analysis? Now the big shock (as if), the Government is going ahead with the project as scheduled, no double take even to see the impending disaster predicted and backed by the scientific facts, or logistical nightmares.

ImageNow back in the news, an issue that was twisted and centered around the now famous Kublalsingh hunger strike diet is the Point Fortin Highway project, which carries just under a $8B bill for our nation. Now let’s remember always, that what we want is not necessarily a highway but the benefits of a highway, i.e the reduction of traffic and convenience of use. With a budget like this, you would expect a Highway that floats off of the ground and carries you to and fro without need of a vehicle…okay realistically you would expect a proper report to be done, including a cost-benefit analysis, a geological report (as much land and the Oropouche Lagoon will be cut into). No proper review was done, and after much strife, the Highway Re-route movement got the PM to agree to an Independent report being done, headed by Independent Senator Dr. James Armstrong. The Armstrong report revealed that not only is are $Millions per mile being overstated, but that the construction will destroy the Lagoon, cap Oil wells (less revenue for the country), and flood surrounding agricultural lands (leading to possibly higher food prices for some crops and a higher food import bill). Now the kick in the proverbial ass of the citizens, that the structure itself will be prone to flooding and constant repairs, which will cause severe traffic delays… Despite all of this, the Government presses on, after all, the contracts done sign, and those in the camps of the PP have strategically purchased land have already called their own price and for all intended purposes are ready to have their own cheques signed straight out of our treasury.

These of course are only 2 examples, and deal with infrastructural development and the farce that we Trinbagonians are feed as truth. Development is always what we obtain from what is built, never the structure itself. Still not convinced? Then tell me, what good is a boat dock being built in the middle of the mainland, miles away from any water?



 In 2010 the people of TnT called for Change, thought we got Exchange, then realized we had been Short-Changed.


 A Partnership was launched claiming to be a safe haven for all, but like Indentured Labourership, once we were transported to the destination we found something much different that what was promised. As it stands, the UNC controlled Government sank it’s talons in and gripped us for their “Change.” Fast forward through dozens of national scandals of corruption, nepotism and attacks on our very democratic rights protected by the constitution; to 2013 and the losing of a “Safe Seat” to their former Chairman, Generalissimo Jack, who created a political Party a month prior to the Chaguanas By-Election. So what is the response (other that the usual flooding of PR and Animal Farm type warnings)? Rats near and far expose themselves as upholding the metaphor as much as humanly possible. While some flee in droves, others shine their rising sun badges, put on their best attire and game faces (sponsored by undeclared forms of party financing and profits from state positions), and get cracking to ensure that a sunk ship “stays the course.”

The comments made by certain Ministers and MPs, and the pictures of UNC MPs celebrating a victory against their party at their opponent’s camp were alarming to say the least. Concerns were expressed over minor felt fleeing from the party, such as the National Security Adviser prior to the elections, and the TOP chairman after (as if the THA 12-0 cut tail wasn’t enough to run him). What now that former Vice-President of the Senate, Lyindra Ouditt has resigned her position as a Senator and as a member of the UNC, then seen on the same day for a conveniently placed photo shoot touching the head and feet of ILP leader, Original Pirate of the Caribbean Jack Warner? Better to be under the wing of a Dragon then in it’s path to some I suppose.

On the other end are those who have realized as well that their party is underwater, but have sunk their heels into the waterlogged floorboards. In this Government’s trademark style of after the fact marketing, except with a week’s delay to catch themselves, the PR machines are in full swing. Full page ads, pictures and releases, promoted through traditional and social media. Mainly the party youths have been active in this department, flooding whatever propaganda wherever they can and with new unseen recruits popping up from out of the woodwork, coincidentally those who have now received government employment. Go figure… In any case, a genuine belief that the current Government is doing what is right has been dispelled, and all that is left are die-hard loyalists and dying-for-more sycophants.

 The Government’s stance and rhetoric has remained the same. Chants of “We Stand Strong” and “Serve the People” being the chorus of those on the side of illegitimate power, while the people are up in arms against a regime that holds control solely as legal right. For all intended purposes, we have no substantial Government, just a sunken ship, with its crew grasping ownership of the treasury chest of jewels that never belonged to them in the first place.

NEW Trini World Views

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Firstly I would like to thank all of my readers for the support and patronage that I have received following the establishment of my Blog, and welcome all newcomers. Over the last year it has grown from 150 readers a month locally to over 6300 readers per month worldwide (most of which from TnT, extending as far across the globe as Russia and Australia). Thus the blog has grown past the capabilities of the former website and as such I have relocated it to this domain; I look forward to writing further on the Political and Social climate of our Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Please take a moment to make use of these NEW FEATURES:

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Thanking you for continued support-
Paul-Daniel Nahous

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-Discipline, Tolerance, Production- The National Watchwords 

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
― Patrick Henry

On this day we Celebrate Emancipation. The end of possibly the most horrific experience in the History of Human cruelty (which is saying a lot). The day that a system as horrendous as it was widespread was legally abolished. The final decree that outlawed what never should have manifested in the first place, so terrible that we know is simply as “Slavery”.

The Afro-Trinidadian faces dangers however of mental and social slavery. The Physical Bondage has ended but the plight of the Afro-Trinidadian Youth still remains. Vybz Kartel and 50 Cent have replaced Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King Jr. as Role Models. The messages of Economical Independence and Unity have been replaced with Entitlement to Handouts and Passa Passa.

On this day we should all reflect on where we are going, Afro-Trinidadian or not. Do we want to continue to raise generations without teaching them the struggles that Brothers of the Human Race endured? The real history that because we have not witnessed we feel numb to it anywhere below the surface? We need to learn and learn now, among all of the celebrating, we should never take for granted what it took to form society we know today. While we celebrate the Physical Liberation, remember; Mental Slavery has gripped us all at some point and in some way, and the fight to Emancipate ourselves as a nation and people is still very much a battle in progress.

Happy Emancipation Day to All.