4 Apr 2020

Fitter or fatter?

Oh well, in these times of lock down due to COVID-19 issues - I'm picking up dat people are falling into two camps. The fitter - and then there's the fatter.

Those who are already reasonably fit, will see the lock down as an opportunity to eat a healthier diet with less flour, more complex carbs, and more vegetables. They know where dey gettin' dat from. These folk will find a way to do more walking or running up and down stairs indoors, or same in their li'le gyarden.

Those who are on the fat side (a BMI greater than 28), will argue dat dey belly eh full - dat starvation is a bad ting.. dat dee government is to blame; make numerous excuses about aches pains and exaggerate medical conditions to avoid any form of exercise. Dey cyah plant a li'le gyarden becuz dey eh want to sprain dey back.

I don't expect ppl who live a fit lifestyle to get dat much fatter. Basically people will be expected to do more of what dey already did. The fit will do more fitness and proper dieting - whilst the already fat will gorge more on carbs and be couch-potatoes.

I'm open to arguments! Bring it on!

COVID-19: State of emergency for a brain disease?

If you see the levels of stupidity out there surrounding COVID-19, you might be inclined to think that this virus has caused a brain disease. That in itself would be a stupid inference or conclusion! How?

Stupidity was always present in the human race. It lives alongside intelligence as a separate and independent force. This means even the very intelligent are also afflicted by stupidity! Contrary to popular belief, if you put a bunch of intelligent people in a room - and present them with a crisis - a majority of times you'd get a decision that is not better than the average of intelligence in the room. In fact, you're more likely to get a decision that is far less than the average of the room. How this is possible at all, is explained in the domains of social psychology and mathematics - NO VIRUS REQUIRED!

This post has been triggered by responses to Israel Khan's letter in TT Express of 29th March 2020, in which he calls for a State of Emergency. He reasons very well about this.

But then you have other 'folk' who have reasons for saying things like 'It eh go help' or 'It eh go work'. The letter of response in TT Express 4th April 2020, is a fine example. Importantly it relies on a sort of quasi-logic leading to a statement, "Secondly, the absolute restriction of movement of people theoretically may only cure our country of the pandemic in the short term." I'll deal with this one only because I don't have time to waste debunking the brainlessness of the other items of supposed 'reasoning' in that letter. One does not argue with stupidity.

'Theoretically' - yes - of course - because nobody knows 'actually' or will be able to see into the future.

'Cure' - a totally nonsensical concept to apply in this.

'In the short term' - well hello: nobody is aiming for a short-term cure. The world and T&T needs (to aim for) a long-term lock down of the virus to facilitate its death. If it can't spread - and humans are the main vehicle - then those who survive and develop immunity will cause it to die.

In other words - we are the long-term CURE (a word I don't like) or CONTROL. I'm not even going into vaccines and treatments, because that's estimated by the best scientific minds to be at least a year away. We can't wait a year and act lethargically about this because thousands in T&T - millions worldwide - could be dead by then.

So - for people who do not comply - mainly those whose stupidity will come to the fore - and we only need about 20% of them, there is no point arguing and educating them while thousands locally are killed. Why? Because stupidity is not something one can 'educate' away! You have to treat it with brutal force. In other words: LOCK DOWN EVERYBODY! SOE IT IS.

And I would go even further to suggest the declaration of martial law - where people can be beaten into submission.

15 Mar 2020

Incursions into impropriety have begun

I see that the first ‘incursions into impropriety’ have begun. Those small incursions that chip away at the rights of the individuals, with the approval of members of society who will never think that those incursions will turn against them later on. It is the beginning into the slide on a slippery slope, where people give up rights to authority to ‘feel safe’ but those rights are never ‘returned’. Nazi Germany, Zimbabwe, apartheid South Africa are some places that comes to mind.

The police ‘raid’ on the office of the Express newspaper is the perfect example of rights being trampled upon by authority figures. Freedom of expression (section 4(i)), and freedom of the press (section 4(k)) are both guaranteed rights under our Constitution. Now that the police can no longer bring charges under the Sedition Act, they are going for the vague charge of “Tipping Off” found in section 51 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000.

A quick review of the Act showed that the charge of “Tipping off” is designed to prevent prejudice at trial for a person charged under the Act. Not to seize evidence which might prove detrimental to the person under investigation, for the purpose of withholding that evidence. No one has been charged in this matter. There is a possible defence under section 49 – a person, acting in a professional capacity and reporting through the relevant supervisory personnel at their workplace, is exempted from this charge.

A point to note: – there is no similar charge or section in the U.K.’s Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Instead, it prohibits authorities from breaching fundamental human rights even in the course of their investigations.

Coming back to the actual search and seizure of material at The Express’ office, there will of course be judicial review of the actions of the police, as ordered by the High Court. The court will decide on the balance between rights of the police under their investigative powers, and the rights of the press with respect to its freedom of expression and public interest in what was published.

The fact that the search was conducted under the authority of the very police officer suspected of and under investigation for financial impropriety is an important factor. Under what conditions and what evidence was presented for such a search warrant to be signed off and who was the judicial officer who gave authority to the warrant? These are questions that have to be answered. Search warrants cannot be granted – or rather, should not be granted – willy-nilly. There must be just cause, and evidence presented, for fundamental rights to be breached. The right to privacy is one such fundamental right.

Of course, we know that some judicial officers (magistrates and judges) merely rubber stamp the requests by police, without conducting due diligence questioning. It is these scenarios where the slippery slope comes into view. Eternal vigilance is demanded from those who live in this society.

19 Jan 2020

Thought of the Day

There is no question that in our age there is a good deal of turmoil about the manner in which society is run. Probably at no point in the history of man has there been so much discussion about the rights and wrongs of the policy makers…[Citizens have] begun to suspect that the people who make the major decisions that affect our lives don't know what they are doing… They don't know what they are doing simply because they have no adequate basis to judge the effects of their decisions. To many it must seem that we live in an age of moronic decision making.

C. West Churchman

4 Jan 2020

When you have no Rights!

This post is about when people do find that they do not have rights that can be enforced, or that bodies responsible for protecting their rights take no action. I'm not focusing on individuals as such - but more on groups of people.

What happens when you have no Rights? By 'Rights' I mean things that can be enforced legally.

You don't under existing local and international law have rights to food, water, and heath care. But you have rights to life. How strange? Don't argue with me - argue with the United Nations.

Think of this situation: You are roused from sleep in the middle of the night by 'the authorities' and you and your family are told "leave now, else we'll move you!" You are not given time to pack anything. With the heavy muscle and ammunition around, you move fearing being manhandled and a getting a beating. On the way you feel confused and angry, because you've lived in your own home, purchased with your own money for years - and you have left all your possessions behind. That was your land and your country You are taken to another country you know nothing off and have never lived there.  You start back from scratch. Over the next few years you and others treated similarly fight in the courts but lose repeatedly. Human Rights seem not to matter.

Some think the above is totally hypothetical. It isn't. It has happened before! Really? Yes - see here.

There are thousands if not millions of people around the world who for a number of crazy reasons do not have a means or method to have their rights enforced. This has always played on my mind. A few weeks ago, I came across organisations and Tribunals that provide some help. Unfortunately they have no legal muscle - but it's better than nothing.

As this is not mean to be a lecture, what I've found is summarised in the mindmap (click this). There are clickable links that take readers to various piece of interesting information.