22 Jul 2020

TTPS rising

I am pleased that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is pleased with their ‘100%’ rise in detection rate for murders. According to Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Investigations McDonald Jacob:

"In the first four and a half months for 2020, we had solved 20 murders but from middle of May to date we have solved 21 murders, showing a 100 per cent improvement in our detection rate.” [Newsday, TV6 21/07/2020]

The other side of that ‘glossy’ statistic is not so rosy however.

For years the murder detection/solve rate has been less than 10%. No lie. I have been monitoring this since 2007, right here on this blog. Typically, the ‘solve rate’ hovers between 4% to 6%.

This year, 2020, TTPS has risen to heights hitherto unseen, by reaching a whopping 20% solve rate. Of course, that included the domestic cases where the perpetrators are usually known/caught at the scene/or surrender.

Looking at the bigger picture, there are some 252 murders to date, meaning the police only solved 16%. Now, remember that this is by police standards… Which is not very high apparently, since the conviction rate – which comes after the arrest and prosecution – is a mere 1% of the ‘solve rate’ quoted by TTPS. Has that sunk in yet? In other words, the police standard of evidence and detection is so low that a court finds it reliable only 1% of the time!

In the Latin Americas and Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago ranks fourth in number of homicides per 100,000 citizens – 37.4. We are only surpassed by Venezuela, Jamaica and Honduras. [https://www.statista.com/statistics/947781/homicide-rates-latin-america-caribbean-country/]

I am pleased that TTPS is pleased. I am NOT pleased they are so easily pleased.

30 Jun 2020

That Hackshaw file

If the Express’ reports are correct, that there “were over 180 deposits amounting to $1.8 million spread over 18 RBC Royal Bank accounts, with more funds in an account at Scotiabank and the Unit Trust Corporation”, then DPP Gaspard is absolutely correct in requesting the file for review. [Express 29/06/2020]

Think about it logically – simple mathematics shows that the depositor (and I am not saying it is Hackshaw) deliberately kept deposits under $10,000. Why? Deposits of over $10,000 attract attention as to the source of the funds. Clearly, the depositor (and I am not saying it is Hackshaw) wanted to avoid undue attention, which indicates that the depositor (and I am not saying it is Hackshaw) ‘knew’ there might be questions to be answered. Pretty unusual when you consider that some of the money were given in cheques in sums way above $10,000.

I am pretty sure that the ordinary man on the street would have a very difficult time converting/depositing a cheque of over $10,000 in partial increments of under $10,000. Did Hackshaw’s depositor (and I am not saying it is Hackshaw) get special benefits from the bank by virtue of Hackshaw being a high-ranking police officer?

A further discrepancy comes from Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who, with his usual blustering style, seeks to obfuscate the issue further. On June 8 he claimed that Hackshaw’s file would be sent to the DPP, then some days later claimed that the file would not be sent until all investigations are completed – the further investigation coming not from the police service, but from an independent organisation, the PCA. One can only wonder at Gary’s agenda. There seems to be an institutionalised “protection” racket going on, a police brotherhood intent on protecting their own.

Another question that comes to my mind is why is Hackshaw’s depositor (and I am not saying it is Hackshaw) depositing money into Hackshaw’s personal accounts, money contributed by private businesses that “were donations given to him by businesses to assist with police functions”. Surely such money should have been given to the coordinators and planners of those police functions?

The Hackshaw situation raises more questions than answers, and in the interest of transparency needs to be fully aired – in public – to the satisfaction of all that there is no jiggery-pokery going on. And if Hackshaw is found to be misbehaving in public office, then I hope that the full brunt of the law falls on him, retirement or not.

16 Apr 2020

What I found out

During this 'lockdown', I've found out:

1) I still love cartoons.

2) I still enjoy reading, even expanding to non-academic books (°_~)

3) E-books are not so bad, and I can store about 10,000 on my phone. My personal library in my pocket.

4) Audiobooks are overrated. The joy is in reading, my friends.

5) I can still lose weight by adjusting my diet. Down 12 kg.

6) Bonsai can be difficult, more than children.

7) A high-speed internet connection protects your mental health. Who knew?

8) I can creatively invent new meals, and I'm a badass in the kitchen.

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.