27 Nov 2016

Stupidity Rules

The leader of the Opposition has “called on the nation to pray for the safe return of all the missing women and girls who have been kidnapped or have disappeared from their homes, schools and communities.”

Given that there has never been evidence that prayer works, despite all of the years of praying for crime to end, in which various people connected to Gawd have tried their bit to influence His ears, and officials have joined marches and promised results years ago, and we we still await those results… all I can say is stupidity rules.

24 Oct 2016

Police – apart and aloof

As accustomed as I am to police stupidity (duncey dotishness) in Trinidad and Tobago, there are times I am still awe-struck at how low the intelligence quotient can go. If intelligence was a limbo, the police service consistently lowers the bar successfully. Take this example:

Adele Gilbert was shot and killed in San Fernando. he was allegedly unarmed, but the police dispute this; I tend NOT to believe police especially when investigations have time and again proven their statements to be lies. In this case, the autopsy revealed that Gilbert was shot at in the back, contrary to the initial police reports. The relative’s video, shot at the scene, also shows a police officer picking up a shell casing from the ground (the Police Welfare and Social Association president Michael Seales thinks it was a 25 cents piece), in effect tampering with  what might be evidence in any ensuing investigation. That’s not all though…

Rather than call for an investigation into the shooting, the Police Welfare and Social Association president Michael Seales is calling for an investigation into a subsequent video allegedly made by a relative of Gibert, in which racist comments and threats were supposedly made. Now, some may argue that the video needs investigating; I agree. But I also think that in the same breath, Seales should have called for an investigation into the shooting of Gilbert and assured the citizens that no stone would be left unturned in getting to the truth of the affair. As it is, his one-sided call is a blot on the police; it is essentially saying that whatever ‘we’ (the police) do is alright because ‘we’ doing it in the name of crime fighting.

As I have frequently said on this blog, the two tier system is in effect. And never the twain shall meet.

10 Oct 2016

The ‘War’ is futile

The so-called ‘war’ on crime, declared by many Ministers of National Security, Prime Ministers, Police Commissioners et al is an abysmal failure. Not only has crime not been reduced, it has actually flourished, and has become more brutal, more bloody, more callous than ever.

And no one bats an eye.

It isn’t unusual to see headlines like: Couple’s throats slit during home invasion.

fullfront39monday frontNor to see photos like this, where once upon a time this would have been against all good taste and decorum for newspapers to print. Never mind the children who read the news or will be exposed to the gruesome sights… nothing is Almightier than the dollar, ent? The savagery has gotten so brutal that shock value keeps rising, we become inured against the exposure, and in turn we behave like humans… because animals, at least those lesser evolved than Homo Sapiens, do not behave with such disregard to their prey. Nor do they wilfully commit acts of cruelty.

But these are symptoms of how the ‘war’ has been a failure, not the reasons why the ‘war’ is incapable of being won. There are numerous reasons why Trinidad and Tobago will become even more of a failed State before too long.

There are incapable, incompetent, unqualified people at the top. People who lack critical thinking and educational skills, the ability to adopt and adapt into workable plans even ideas from elsewhere, who ‘protect their turf’ by refusing to hire external expertise (and when they mistakenly do, find that they can’t work with those people because they rock the status quo), people who can’t or won’t admit they are out of their depth.

That’s not all. Many of those in the upper echelons of the law enforcement organisations, government, and business world are corrupted, if not indeed active criminal participants, in drug trading, trafficking, kidnapping, land grabbing, money laundering etc. It isn’t at all therefore surprising that the curb on or to combat crime is not in their financial (or personal) interest. Why slay the goose with the golden eggs?

Think those are the only reasons? Not at all. They are ably aided by the educated population, who don’t even have the excuse of illiteracy to explain the utter stupidity of their thought processes. Bleating about praying and that ‘God is a Trini’ in hopes that the problems will disappear, the educated elite even includes a judge who apparently left his brains in his judicial robes and found the State’s purse in the Presidential ones he swapped into.

And let’s not forget those who bawl ‘Bring Back the Death Penalty’ as the apparently sole solution to end all serious crimes. I have news for you. The death penalty didn’t go for a walk, on vacation, or even become a ‘hornerman’ slinking into the night… no, it was and is still there. If the Law imposes conditions on which it can be used, then it is up to a proactive Government to find solutions to work within those conditions, if the death penalty is to be implemented as a (hopefully not ‘the’) solution to crimes gone wild.

Despite that 0.01% hope for a better T&T, I still see the futility of change. Which is why I’m unlikely to hold my breath.

30 Sep 2016

Why Carmona should be sacked

Citizens of the country may not have any idea of the seriousness of the constitutional breach made by President Carmona in having a meeting with Minister of National Security, Chief of Defence Staff and the Ag Police Commissioner. The breach is not only of etiquette, but also of constitutional infringement between the separation of powers.

Keep in mind that the Office of the President is a throwback to the Crown from colonial days. Therefore, the President is actually in the role that the Queen formally held, and still does in England. Just as the Queen has a specific role in government, so too does the President. England is run by an elected government as is Trinidad; this is the executive arm of the government. The executive arm makes the decisions and policies. The President signs off on these, just as the Queen does. The Queen cannot even signal approval or disapproval of any government actions/policies/decisions. These can only be challenged by judicial review if there is a breach of law.

When it comes to National Security, the executive makes the decision – it is the English Parliament that decides to go to war, but it is the Queen who declares the decision of Parliament, that is, makes The Declaration of War. In a similar manner, the executive (Parliament) decides on matters of national security in Trinidad and Tobago, and the role of the President is merely to give official approval of those decisions. For the President to take on the himself the role of the executive is a very severe breach of the Constitution, and the rule of law.

To put it another way, in terms that President Carmona may understand: imagine that there is a trial going on. The judge calls one of the instructing solicitors from only one side into his office for a private meeting regarding the case. He has not invited the instructing solicitors from the other team, neither has he invited the barristers from either team. It does not matter what he talks about in this meeting. It only matters that there is a meeting. This is a very severe breach of the rule of law as well as judicial rules. It can lead to a mistrial, the sacking of the judge and even disbarment.

This is the severity of the President’s actions. And this is why the President must be sacked without delay

22 Sep 2016

Sweet like a Prosecco

Life on the Rock is sweet like a Prosecco wine apparently. Especially for the President, who seems to be a typical ole boy controlled by the greatest treasure on earth… the Bearded Clam!

What else would explain giving a contract to his wife’s former ‘stylist’ (someone say ‘flesh-coloured belt’?) to import  wine to the value of $1.2 millions? Okay, let’s be fair to the Prez, it’s TT dollars, not US. And it’s for a 2 years period so I can assume that he is not courting said bearded clam with sparkling wine baths. Or is he?

In the meantime, the judiciary is still treated like a stray dog; starved for funds.

Never before has a President of Trinidad and Tobago been mired in so many financial controversies. Aside from 2 pensions (one as a judge – which will be scaled up whenever the sitting judges get a raise - and one as President, also scaled) he has collected a housing allowance while being provided with State Housing and has refused to return said allowance received. A neat sum of $28K.

And there are allegations of public spending on jewellery as well, not only wine. All in all, this writer sees that the President is controlled by the bearded clam, and his public policies and actions are affected by his thirst.