16 Apr 2017

ignorance or stupidity?

Every so often, I encounter some article that makes me wonder about whether people are just stupid, or deliberately ignorant. Take this person:

Beware debit card skimming

Card skimming has been around at least 2 decades, if not more. We were warned about this way back in the 1990’s in Trinidad and Tobago. So for this person to profess such ignorance makes me ask myself, under which rock had he been sleeping? The alternative is sheer stupidity. Same with people who, decades after the scam was exposed, still get taken in by 419 scammers.

Some basic precautions :

  1. Use a credit, not debit, card for online purchases. Credit cards usually have more protection. And debit card accounts usually have your savings which are at risk. If a scammer gets hold of your credit card details, then the most they can get is up to the limit of the card, not your entire savings.
  2. Use a card with a low enough limit to prevent undue liability in case something goes wrong. A card limit of £500 (TT$5000) can usually cover any purchase necessary for everyday expenses.
  3. Repay the card when you receive your salary, or as much as possible, to reduce interest payments. Most cards give about 56 days before interest is imposed.

A fool and his money….

31 Mar 2017

‘He dogs dead’

It’s high time the people of Trinidad and Tobago – including the educational ‘elite’ – wake up to reality.

What am I talking about? Prayers, nuh.

Govt urges Shouter Baptists 'to raise their collective voices' in prayer for crime screams the headline.
'Baptists have important role in reduction of crime' is another.

Once more, the so-called ‘leaders’ of the society are calling on people to “pray for crime”. I’ll get back to the words in the quotation marks in a bit. In the meantime, they refuse to face the fact the prayers have never worked, and will never work. But hey, the Christians prayed, the Hindus prayed, the Muslims prayed, then they all prayed together in various groups and gatherings and combinations and yes, the criminals still preyed. And are still preying.

Which leads me to think that, like the words in the quotation marks above, they are ‘praying for crime’ in the literal sense, since there is no sign of abatement.

I’m not surprised that crime is rising, and will continue to rise… when the best that those with the authority and resources to fight crime can do is call for prayer to battle criminal enterprise, then is more than dogs dying… it will continue to be the people.

11 Feb 2017

To fight crime, first fight the mindset of dotish police... starting with top duncey

I take great issue with the stupid statement bleated out by top duncey, Stephen Williams. He said in this article:
As grieving families of people killed in domestic-related cases continue to cry out for justice, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams says the police can do nothing about killings that stem from such situations.

 “When a brother can stab and kill a brother inside a house for $30, there is nothing the police can do about that. When a daughter could stab a father inside a house, there is nothing the police can do about that. For 2017, we are seeing a series of killings for which no amount of police presence on the streets can have an impact on that,” Williams said.
I see this as a cop-out from the top cop. Probably fitting words there. The point is, in the vast majority of domestic estrangements that turn violent and deadly, there are ample evidence that the victims had made numerous reports to the police... who did nothing. 

But as Lord Kerr said:
"In my view, the time has come to recognise the legal duty of the police force to take action to protect a particular individual whose life or safety is, to the knowledge of the police, threatened by someone whose actions the police are able to restrain."
(Lord Kerr (obiter) in Michael and others v Chief Constable of South Wales Police and another [2015] UKSC 2)
Clearly, the top legal minds from the highest court (Lord Kerr is one of the Privy Council judges) recognise the problem and the necessity for the police to be proactive. But in Trinidad as we all know, police can only be reactive. And in spite of billions handed over to the police annually, the best Williams can come up with to fight crime is:
Williams called on God to pay special attention to the spiralling murder rates plaguing T&T. Admitting that citizens were living in fear of crime, he said a divine intervention was really needed in this country.

“There is a need for more work and in those circumstances we are saying if God is in control, we are asking God to continue to be in control, but to pay a special kind of attention on what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago, as we police officers who are charged with the responsibility can continue to focus on fulfilling our responsibility.”
 Okay, so his crime plan is that God is in control, and should remain in control but pay special attention to TnT, because police officers need to spend time focussing on their responsibilties for which they are responsible.  I don't know what those are, but apparently they're not preventing, detecting and solving crimes.

It is this dotishness coming from the mouth of a man who claims to have a law degree, MBA and what have you, and who incidentally speaks in the form of the worst illiterate in Trinidad, that causes the ordinary citizen to run amok and take justice in his own hands. Because when I hear such dotishness, I feel to take Williams own baton and beat sense into him until I can't raise my hands any more. 

12 Jan 2017

Rubbish defence of Presidential practices

I have not read such rubbish as this article for many years. To distill what this writer said, because the President is a former judge at the local level and at the ICC, and because he was politically appointed Senior Counsel (we know of several of those, don't we?), then he must not be questioned over his actions?

Utter tripe. No one is above the law. No one. “Be ye ever so high, still the Law is above Thee.”

What Dr Robert Williams really is saying is that the President should get a free pass into his activities, including spending, just because... well, just because he is the President. Clearly, not a thought people would be comfortable with, neither does it fit with the Rule of Law. No one is persecuting the President either. Having regard for the law and wanting a reasonable investigation into dubious practice cannot be a persecution if the investigating authorities are dragging thier feet or refusing to conduct said investigations. I fully endorse such an investigation, especially since every time the President opens his mouth, his statements are later proven to be lies.

"Some people are under the misguided impression or are deliberately being fed the erroneous or twisted information that the President can allocate money to himself as in the present circumstances. This is far from the truth. He cannot. For example, monies for his travels must be approved by Cabinet and his housing allowance must be approved by agencies such as the Auditor General’s Office."

While the above may be true (and I doubt it is), the question that arises from what refutations were made by those same bodies is that undue Presidential influence was brought to bear on them to approve the allowances and expenditures. This too is being questioned and should be part of any investigation.

" I believe an explanation on the housing allowance was given and it had to do with the inadequate and deplorable conditions of the Flagstaff facilities the President and his family were being housed in."

More rubbish. The law is quite clear. Once you have Government Housing, you are NOT entitled to Housing Allowance. The question of conditions is moot. It simply does not arise. If as the President said, the facilities were not fit for entertaining as per his status, I am sure any functions were catered at other venues and paid for by public purse. So again, the question of a Housing Allowance to cover this simply does not arise.

"Whether the President was entitled or not to the allocation is a matter that will have to be properly determined with all the facts and not by an attorney sitting in London and forming an opinion on limited information."

Yes, and all that is being asked is an investigation to clear up the facts and determine whether all is above board. So far, by not having an investigation, the facts are obfuscated and actually do disservice to the Presidential reputation and office. Dr Williams should therefore be glad of any clarity brought to the fore by such an investigation.

Dr Williams need reign in his unwarranted defence of the President, under the dubious guise of defending the Office of the President.

Crime statistics

In today’s Express, 12/01/2017, the following was given by Ag CoP Stephen Williams:

The figures showed there was an increase of 250 per cent in kidnappings, 114 per cent in murders, 81 per cent in woundings and shootings, 61 per cent in burglaries and break-ins, 41 per cent in robberies, 36 per cent in larceny dwelling house, 32 per cent increase in serious crimes and three per cent increase in general larceny.

I wonder then, how the weekly statistics show that crime is down? Anyone?