Yes, Prime Minister...Wired868 Style

kamla and jack

I love British comedy. It's often hard to pick a favourite, but Yes Prime Minister is my favourite. Lucky me that my favourite online newsite, Wired686, decided to tackle PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar in a similar satirical fashion.

Here's a peek...

Scene: Office of the Prime Minister

(National Security Minister Jack Warner walks in and closes the door behind him)

National Security Minister Jack Warner: Yes, Prime Minister. The AG told me you wanted to see me?

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar: It is over, Jack. This FBI business is the last straw. Everyone is worried that it might affect their ability to get visas and invitations to those great US Embassy parties. You had your warning, eh. That’s it.

Warner: Kamla, I fully understand and I support you. I am only here to serve your government and I am ready to step aside.

Prime Minister: It is too late, Jack. Prakash told me that once I stand on higher ground, I won’t have to worry about your tsunami and… Wait. What did you say?

Warner: Kamla, you are the sharpest legal mind I have ever met. In the fullness of time, I know your decision today will be shown to have saved your party and your country.

Prime Minister: You really think so, Jack? You know I heard some of the boys were whispering behind my back ever since I got my “SC.” You believe they said Hafizool more qualified than me? They said at least he paid for his letters.

Warner: Let me tell you that not one of them has your vision. Not one!

Prime Minister: Yes… Well. How would you like us to do this? Would you prefer to resign?

Warner: You know best, Prime Minister. So, I think you should make the announcement about relieving me yourself.

You can read the rest here at Wired868...

Degrees of Full Dotish

IT is the middle of Silly Season in Tobago, in a THA elections that has been hijacked by the Central Government and turned into a full blown circus. TOP and the UNC are using the creative genius of the mastermind behind the Tobago Great Fete to run its THA campaign and  this genius has helped to turn the THA Election into a proper monster. Coupled with Silly Season are three other very serious issues happening here in Trinidad that I'm sure the Government is hoping no one pays attention to.


Full Dotish 1: If you've never experienced Great Fete Weekend in Tobago count yourself fortunate. I had the misfortune once. I was 18 and in Tobago visiting relatives when my sister and I decided to head down to Store Bay to lime and swim. We went about midday and stayed until later afternoon and got caught in the start of a beach party that was part of the Great Fete weekend festivities. It was at 18, on a beach in Store Bay, that I saw how easily women can be molested and sexually assaulted for being dressed in swimsuits and present at a beach fete. The attitude of the men around was that women were at the fete for sex or at least foreplay. We left the beach before sunset and I have thereafter carefully avoided Great Fete weekend. It's frowned upon by many Tobagonians. They see it as just another event where rude Trinidadians invade their quiet island for more rum and revelry. But Sandbox Promotions has a good thing going at Crown Point and it generates revenue. I guess it must be on that basis that Sandbox has been given leeway to shape the TOP campaign. A campaign that now resembles a ghetto fete gone wrong. The Calcutta Ship ad, that is helping to promote the same racism that the TOP and UNC claim to be against has finally been pulled...and I feel that ad has backfired on them. Because while Sandbox might know how to throw a fete in Tobago, I'm yet to be convinced that Sandbox knows how to throw an election campaign and I will explain why. 

In an island as devoutly Protestant as Tobago, and suspicious of any practice that is Unorthodox, why on earth would you arrange for the PM who is both Hindu and Spiritual Baptist and rude to read at a pulpit. While that may be playing to a TOP audience, it's not likely to go off as well with many other residents of the island.
Using children to send a rude message to the THA Chief secretary is another No-No. Tobagonians still admire things like manners, class and respectability. Sandbox entertainment has introduced a level of crassness and vulgarity to an election campaign that is normally never this heated or hectic. TOP's response to Hilton Sandy's Calcutta Ship has only served to take the race talk up several notches and anger Tobagonians and Trinis alike. Now to add fuel to the fire Skippy Barrington Thomas has asked the Equal Opportunities Commission to 

Very Significant Half-Coolie

It must be sad being Jamal Mohammed, or being like anyone who thinks like Jamal Mohammed. I follow the writings of several columnists here who would be described as Indian and Male. I have for a long time hoped that from time to time...not every week...they would analyse the Indian male in this space. And i refer specifically to the Indian male because UWI has an entire institute dedicated towards studying the Indian female. I know most of the researchers very well.

Since these columnists have for the most part avoided writing about themselves directly, but reveal themselves in their writing regularly, I instead rely on Naipaul. He remains for me the most honest critic of this place. Yes he's got biases. Who doesn't? But at least he open about his biases too.

Dr Sheila Rampersad, Ms Denyse Renne and Ms Anicka Gumbs-Sandiford respond!

Press statement re walkout of three journalists from the T&T Guardian July 15, 2013

When we staged a Wednesday (July 10) walkout from the T&T Guardian newspaper, we were and remain clear on the issue: there was a significant threat to press freedom; that threat wore the garments of political interference and its dimensions included, importantly, the sidelining of the Editor in Chief (EIC), Ms Judy Raymond. We spoke publicly on the day of the walkout and Dr Sheila Rampersad spoke again on I95.5FM the morning after (Thursday July 11). A comment was solicited by and given to the Trinidad Express newspaper on the same day (Thursday July 11). We have made no other public comment. Following Ms Raymond’s statement published in the T&T Guardian on July 15, we have decided to break our dignified silence in the interest of our professional credibility and personal well-being. The confusion that has accumulated around this issue was not our creation and we wish to register our resentment that we have to again unravel the obfuscation and offer clarity to the public served by our vocation. Critical to understanding the events leading up to the Wednesday walkout is a meeting that occurred on Tuesday (July 9) at 2.15 pm. That meeting was called following a day and a half of uncertainty, rumours and instability in the Guardian newsroom. It was called by Managing Director (MD) Gabriel Faria, jointly chaired by the EIC, and included daily editor Irving Ward, Photographic Editor Alva Viarruel, Features Editor Franka Philip, Business Editor Anthony Wilson, News Editor Robert Alonzo, Sports Editor Valentino Singh, head of the sub-editors Cordia Gibbs and Dr Sheila Rampersad. At that meeting, we were told by the MD and EIC that they had both returned from a meeting at the ANSA McAl head office, that there were many concerns with what was perceived by the Guardian Media Ltd’s board of directors to be our biased news reporting, and that things had come to a head. Two examples were mentioned: the Sunday Guardian lead of July 7 which carried the headline “Millions Leaving T&T” and the T&T Guardian’s lead of July 4 under the headline “Rowley Escapes.” In connection with the first, we asked, among other things, whether there had been complaints by the subject/s of the news report. The MD said no. The “Rowley Escapes” headline and stories, however, generated much debate between editors, who defended our representation of the story, and the MD. Flipping between pages one and three of that day’s paper, the MD said, essentially, that our coverage of the story was biased in favour of Dr Keith Rowley and Mr Colm Imbert and against the Privileges Committee. The MD said the board of directors was unanimous in that view. The MD said the EIC had to go “offline.” When asked how we were to proceed in an environment in which the EIC was “offline” for vague, undetermined reasons, and with increasing instability in the newsroom that would only be heightened by the EIC’s physical absence, we were told by the MD to tone the paper down. We were told the EIC going “offline” to work on an editorial policy and the toning down of the paper in the interim comprised the best option available following the MD’s and the EIC’s meeting at head office. Someone asked what the other options were. There was silence, then the EIC said, “It’s either this or we both go.” “We” referred to the MD and the EIC. Someone’s name was mentioned as a potential replacement for the MD. One editor asked whether we could meet with the GML board to dialogue; the MD said no, that was out of the question. Later on Tuesday, editors were told by the EIC that someone was being sought to sit-in on the afternoon editors’ meeting which determined the news content of the next day’s paper. One person was approached by the MD; that individual requested time to consider. A short time later, another person was approached by the MD; that person sat-in on Tuesday afternoon’s editors’ meeting. Uncertainty grew on Tuesday night during which Dr Rampersad and Ms Raymond exchanged a number of text messages relevant to fluid developments. The idea of a walkout, floating around since Monday, took shape on Tuesday night. On walkout Wednesday, some editors arrived at the office with that idea (walkout), one aspect of which was to confer before walking out. The conference occurred. At that conference, two editors said they were unable to walk immediately because of pressing financial commitments. One of those two expressed deep solidarity with us, saying he was walking out in spirit but was sorry he was unable to do so in body. At no time did either of the two cite “tomorrow” as their reason for not walking out. Exceptions to the walkout, therefore, were on the grounds of burdensome financial responsibilities and legal counsel. Dr Rampersad’s mind was made up. At the conference, the EIC suggested waiting until “tomorrow”, adding an hour or so later that her lawyer had advised her not to do anything drastic until she spoke to him. The EIC later left to see a lawyer on Duke Street. Notwithstanding this, Ms Raymond, on walkout Wednesday at 2.58 pm, texted Dr Rampersad saying, “I need to get out of here. Will be following you in matter of hours. Talk later. Thx for everything xx.” After the walkout, at 5.56 pm Wednesday July 10, the EIC texted Dr Rampersad following Dr Rampersad’s immediate post-walkout interview on I95.5FM: “Heard interview. Great”. At 6.25 pm on the same day, the EIC texted Dr Rampersad: “Now drafting resignation letter to show to lawyer”. Following Dr Rampersad’s interview in I95.5FM on the morning of Thursday July 11 (the morning after the walkout), the EIC texted Dr Rampersad at 6.26 pm: “you talk like a boss this morning”. Investigative reporters Ms Anika Gumbs-Sandiford and Ms Denyse Renne affirm that, contrary to the EIC’s statement in today’s Guardian, they were at no time asked, told or advised by the EIC to defer their resignations for 24 hours. Ms Gumbs-Sandiford confirms that the EIC was in possession of her resignation letter since 1.44am on Wednesday July 10. Her resignation letter was e-mailed to the EIC with a note reading: "Just informing you that this will be forwarded to General Manager Mr Douglas Wilson at 9am. Talk to you soon."

There was no response advising Ms Gumbs-Sandiford to defer her resignation. In fact, Ms Ramond responded at 7.30am via e-mail: "Thanks for letting me know, Anika. I am so sorry it has to come to this. Thanks for all your great work. All the best."

At 8.20 am, having already agreed on the walkout the night before, the EIC texted Dr Rampersad: “Cd you call Anika & ask her not to send letter yet? GF on way to talk to Norman now, still hoping to save the day. If not, we’ll go together after that”. Dr Rampersad responded: “It’s over.” Ms Raymond acknowledged that with a sad-face emoticon. It is not an easy decision to share these items of correspondence but we feel certain we have no choice in the defence of our credibility and the truth. These messages and other correspondence quoted here, along with many more, remain in our possession as corroboration. Between 8.20 am and sometime after 3 pm on walkout Wednesday, Ms Raymond had a surfeit of opportunities to dissuade Ms Gumbs-Sandiford and Ms Renne from walking out. Ms Raymond used none of these opportunities. Ms Renne confirms that between 10 am and 11 am on walkout Wednesday, she met with Ms Raymond and told her: I have your back; I will be walking out with you. Ms Raymond’s response was, “Ok then, let me go and pack.”

Around 3pm, Ms Gumbs-Sandiford met with the EIC and informed her that she had submitted her resignation letter. She asked of the EIC whether the EIC had submitted hers. The EIC replied, "I am just waiting to speak to my attorney. I will submit it after."

Ms Gumbs-Sandiford and Ms Renne confirm that they resigned in support of Ms Raymond knowing that if Ms Raymond went "offline," very soon they would have also been sent “offline” given the number of protests that followed the investigative stories they wrote.

Our silence between Thursday morning and today is not to be interpreted as stupidity, cowardice, or belief in the convoluted spin generated by GML. We are clear that the issue at the start of last week was interference in the editorial processes and products and the suspension and/or potential dismissal of Ms Raymond. After our act of courage on Wednesday, the question became voluntary resignation by the EIC. Our walkout enabled that shift. That there was dialogue between the EIC and management from Thursday July 11 was not inevitable; our walkout enabled that change. Contrary to reports from the Media Association of T&T, none of the three journalists who walked out is back on the job. None of us was contacted before or after the MATT news release was issued. We remain unshakeable in our conviction that we took an honourable and principled position; we have no regrets. The public will adjudicate on whether the confusion of the past few days can be accurately termed “misinformation,” “massive miscommunication” or, quite simply, lies.

Respectfully, Dr Sheila Rampersad Ms Anika Gumbs-Sandiford Ms Denyse Renne

The three reporters wrote this in response to Editor in Chief, Judy Raymond's article today.

F@$K The Presses!

Gabriel Faria (left) with other members of the Guardian Media Ltd Board. We're down to one functioning daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago...a country that used to have 3.

Press and Media have taken a massive hit under this government in multiple ways. If we don't have journalists selling themselves off to the government and handling their PR, then we have Government Ministers and state figures threatening the media.

In just 3 short years we have seen Police officers raid newspaper offices twice!

We've seen Jack Warner, then Minister of National Security, threaten the safety of both Asha Javeed and Denyse Renne on state television using state resources. Yet today, that same Warner is being touted as a saviour by people too greedy to know true tyranny when they rubbing up against it.

Judy Raymond

Yesterday's meltdown at the Guardian, in which several writers walked off, and it is alleged the Editor in Chief has been reassigned,  is simply more evidence, to add to the ever growin pileg, that under Kamla's Small Goal side we have no real democracy and the dictatorship isn't is already here. This isn't the first time since getting into office that people have had to leave media houses. Power 102 experienced mass firings in 2011. Whole programmes were cancelled and we even had political personalities replacing radio hosts.

And even with this...people still defend the party. Well aware that we need an independently functioning media to have a functioning democracy, they still support the antics of this government and its collaborators.

What the Guardian Meltdown should teach us though is how deep into government's pockets Big Business is.....clearly the folks at ANSA McAl are so dependent on Kamla's Government for handouts that independence in journalism and even loss of newspaper sales are a small price to pay, in comparison to losing Government patronage.....and we still think Beetham, Laventille and Sealots are the leeches in society?

Clearly the Guardian of Democracy tagline is just a front. Those of us old enough will know that this isn't the first time there have been meltdowns at the Guardian under a UNC Government. In 1997 editor Jones P Madeira led a walkout of several journalists from the Guardian. They eventually went on to form the short-lived Independent.

Guardian Managing Director Gabriel Faria seems to be talking out of several sides of his mouth. In one instance you are hearing he was fired, then last night you saw him speaking in his capacity as Managing Director saying everything was fine, the Guardian was still committed to the highest levels of journalism and that their two top investigative journalists had resigned because they were refusing to do more work and harder work.

Now therein lies the rub. According to Gabriel Fara, Guardian Media Ltd's idea of fair and responsible journalism is to have Sampson Nanton question just the Managing Director about a staff walk out. Not one member of the Guardian's staff was interviewed. Balance in we pweffen!

suruj in orange shirtAccording to Faria, the newspaper wanted its journalists to do more follow up and due diligence with its reporting. Yet today we have a story from Yvonne Webb  that indicates Suruj Rambachan has confirmation from Google that the emails brought to Parliament by Dr Rowley are fake.  Yvonne Webb fails however to do a few things:

1. She fails to ask Rambachan why someone with a HOTMAIL address wrote to GOOGLE?

2. She failed to ask to see the letter.

So, essentially we have yet another piece of writing, masquerading as journalism in the Guardian that only gives you one side of the story.

If lopsided journalism is the hard work people were running from, then I wish Misses Renne and Gumbs-Sandiford godspeed. These two reporters buss more mark on this government than any tsunami Warner has promised and it's sad they have to go through this kind of upheaval.

Im hearing that more people will join the three resignations that have already been handed in.

But for many workers at the Guardian is business as usual.....and not a word in the newspaper today really telling you about what has happened. The cover-up continues.

I really hope right thinking citizens hit ANSA MCAL where it will hurt.....his pocket. But I know how the thought of giving up Stag or missing CNC3 or 95.1 programming might frighten some!

Big Business and Big Government hug up tight tight in bed together...and the rest of we supporting them Full Dotish!

Acting With Integrity

  kamla and jackThe Integrity in Public Life Act will turn 13 in November of this year. Most of us view the Act and the Integrity Commission as useless. The average citizen thinks the purpose of the IC is to find out the assets of persons functioning in public life and to publish an annual list of those public officials who have transgressed the law. Indeed, the Integrity Commission has done little to dispel that public perception of its duties.

The opening sentences of the Act states that the Commission’s purpose is to provide “for public disclosure, to regulate the conduct of persons exercising public functions; to preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions...” What many of us don’t know is that the Integrity Commission has real teeth. Their duties don’t just stop at publishing a list of miscreants and submitting a report to the Senate every year. Their power reaches far beyond financial disclosure.

The folks over at the Integrity Commission can scrutinise any person in public life or exercising public functions. This includes the Prime Minister, the AG, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, members of state boards, and persons working in the Public Service, Judicial and Legal Service, Police Service, Teaching service, Statutory Authorities’ Service Commission, Diplomatic Service and Advisers to the Government.

If you re-read that list slowly and digest its importance you will realise that the Integrity Commission has oversight of the activities of so many sectors of our country that if the Commission was properly staffed and working efficiently it should, theoretically, be able to root out a lot of the corruption and inefficiency prevalent in our society.

Ken GordonFurther examination of the Act reveals that an investigation by the Integrity Commission could lead to more than just your name being published in the newspapers. There is a fine of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars attached to the offence of non-declaration of assets. As a person in public life, you also have to declare the assets and liabilities of your spouse and dependent children; and if you holding money or property in trust for another person you have to declare the trust, though not the specific details. Page 15 of the Integrity in Public Life Act has a long list of interests and must be declared. You have items such as contracts made with the state; companies or partnerships in which the person is an investor; beneficiary interest in any land; particulars relating to sources of income; and anything else that might cause conflict between private interests and public duties.

Are you wondering where I am going with this? Think Jack Warner, his spouse, their children, his assets and many affiliations that might be in conflict with his public life.

Mr Warner has been serving in public life since November 5th, 2007. His activities as a member of the Caribbean Football Union, Concacaf and FIFA are public knowledge. Since becoming a member of government in 2010 there have been allegations and speculations hovering over Warner. We have an Integrity Commission in Trinidad and Tobago that is at least a decade old. Why did it take a report from Concacaf to unearth information that Warner has been less than forthcoming about his business interests and financial transactions dating back from 2006?

Back in November 2012 there was a local newspaper report indicating Warner was the subject of a probe by the IC. Fixin TnT’s Kirk Waithe has been at the forefront of calls for Warner to be investigated based on discrepancies with public monies.  In his complaint to the IC, Waithe pointed out funds being transferred from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation into private accounts, and the transfers were often in the range of millions of dollars.  Millions of dollars of public monies that we still await accountability on. And mind you, these discrepancies happened under a PNM regime; not UNC or PP. So we can’t even claim that it is Warner’s cronies who might be protecting him or smoothing the way.

When questioned about the nature of the probe, Martin Farrell, the Registrar of the IC, responded saying: “The Integrity Commission is not in a position to comment on your request. As you will appreciate, having regard to the nature of its mandate under the Integrity in Public Life Act, the Commission is required to treat with all matters with the utmost confidentiality.”

Fast forward now to April, 2013, in the aftermath of the report from Concacaf’s Integrity Committee and there is still a deafening silence from the various bodies and authorities here. The last we heard from the DPP on the matter of Warner, the police had been instructed to look into whether Warner had breached Customs and Excise laws. The probe by the AG into Warner seems to have stalled. And the Integrity Commission remains as enigmatic as ever. Saying little, but alluding to an ongoing probe that has thus far yielded little satisfaction to the public.

After reading the Concacaf Report you have to ask yourself what exactly is the problem with us here that we can have so many institutions and systems in place, and have them constantly fail us. Why is investigating Warner and making him answerable to the public so difficult? Why does an Integrity Commission, enacted with so much power on paper, often seem so weak? When exactly are these bodies responsible for public oversight actually going to start earning their keep? Or are we going to have to launch a probe not just into Warner, but into the integrity of our Commissions?

We spinning top in mud in this place....Full Dotish Mode!

Of Tsunamis and Hurricanes

The only thing missing from Warner's "Straight Talk" rally on Thursday night was the world's smallest violin, wheezing away mournfully. That thousands of people showed up to support Warner and cheer at his comments is a testament to the calibre of our voting public. Even worse, representatives of a party, who three years ago, would vote out the PNM for allegations of fraud, corruption and squandermania, now resolutely ignore the allegations against Warner and instead praise him for building box drains in their community. Yes folks, box drains are now the official UNC gauge for progress in the country. Moonan doesn't need to move a mountain, just build a drain. Warner spent hours last night going through some thirty plus pages of notes and at the end of the evening, the impression I came away with from the speech wasn't that he had cleared his name, but rather that he was subliminally telling the crowd, "Yes, I took money. but I share some of it with you." The disconcerting thing is, I think the crowd at the Pierre Road Recreation Ground last night were quite happy with that message and could care less what it implies about Warner as a person, MP and politician. Now what does that tell you about some of the constituents of Chaguanas West?

In a classic Panday move last Thursday night, Warner set out to circle the wagons before he announced his resignation as MP. The stage was set nicely. A fete is thrown for the constituents, to remind everyone of Warner's largesse. He then mounts a stage, twists some of the allegations of the Concacaf Report around adequately to confuse the audience in to thinking the allegations against him may be false. He subtly reminds the more savvy members of the audience that he is a financier and can influence other financiers of the party. Then he declares his love for the party and his loyalty to Persad-Bissessar, while at the same time revealing that there are at least three members of the Cabinet who are against him. Signaling to the electorate that he is a man beleaguered by enemies, he is under threat, the Prime Minister isn't making up her own mind, it's being made up for her.

After last night, Warner has made it explicitly clear the pressure he is going to put on the UNC government in light of what now appears to be a forced resignation. But bear in mind that a week has passed and we still don't know the complete truth about his resignation. Warner insists that he resigned because a newspaper reported that the Prime Minister was stunned after reading the Concacaf Report. According to Warner, when he queried this report, the PM said she never said she was stunned. The PMs response to fraud and corruption allegations, not the allegations themselves, is what leads to him resigning?

Andre Jennings and Lasana Liburd have been saying for years, what the Express is only reporting this week. Liburd's Wired868 online new site often has the most cutting edge stories on Warner, complete with documental evidence. Neither the PM nor her advisers have an excuse for being clueless about Warner's activities. But it is typical behaviour of Persad- Bissessar to affect the attitude of clueless female, always the last to know; yet another act of feigned helplessness so that we will commiserate with her and think, "Poor lady, look how them fellas running rings around her." But the allegations against Warner aren't anything new. We can go as far back as 1989, if not further, and ask into whose pockets did the money for the oversold tickets fall into.

And with the timeline created by the Concacaf Report, you now have to ask yourself questions about how exactly the UNC has been funded all these years. This is the third financier of that party to have such serious allegations over his head. And at every turn it appears that the money being sunk into the UNC has a questionable past. Ish and Steve have money laundering questions to answer in the US, while it appears that Warner has been systematically moving funds from the accounts of other entities into his. Is this the kind of funding that keeps the UNC afloat? Is this the kind of funding that brought them into power? The leadership of the party isn't perturbed by this? The other members of the coalition think this kind of funding is new politics? Because let's be real with ourselves, COP, MSJ and TOP were all quite contented to use Warner's funding in 2010, and turn a blind eye to the allegations then. Indeed, Ramadhar was one of the first to congratulate Warner when he became Minister of National Security less than a year ago. Clearly then the shadows following Warner were not a problem. So why is it a problem now? What is it about that Concacaf report that has everyone so willing and ready to believe Warner should step down, when they were so clearly avoiding making such statements before?

In a matter of days we went from Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed publicly declaring full Cabinet support for Warner, to Ramadhar, less than 24 hours after Mohammed's declaration soundly refuting collective support and writing a stern letter to the PM demanding Warner's resignation. Who knew he had it in him?

And then there is the matter of Warner's replacements. Both Emmanuel George and Khadija Ameen are close allies of Warner. Indeed, it seems once Warner gives up a ministry, former DJ Hurricane George is on hand to take it over. This is the same Emmanuel George whose name has been mentioned alongside Ganga Singh, Hafeez Karamath, Desalcott, Inncogen and the short pants man, not so? And I should trust him with security? As for Miss Ameen, there is little about her performance in office thus far to suggest she has what it takes to be an effective leader.

His resignation as security minister has allowed Kamla to put significant resources into the hands of Suruj Rambachan. Minister of Works AND Local Government? Might a certain political party be fearful of losing Local government elections? If you thought THA was squandermania, just wait.

With Warner's resignation as MP for Chaguanas West in full effect, expect even more entertainment for your money than usual in the next three months. His seat can't remain vacant. So essentially, the country will be gearing up for two election campaigns in the coming months. Watch the rum and roti flow folks. The tsunami ain't coming, it reach.

Clock Back and Roll

  Power Outage 2It's been a hectic 3 days....and it has nothing to do with Christ's resurrection...

We are still to receive any answers from the folks at PowerGen, NGC or Phoenix Gas as to how the fuel levels dropped to so sharply Thursday evening to lead to the black out in the late hours of Thursday night into Friday morning.....

As you know, I've questioned the clock on the wall at Powergen Penal and the times on the wall and the times of the PM's visit and what it says about best practice at PowerGen and what it might imply for the PMs visit to PowerGen.

So, I'm going to raise a few more questions again this evening.

You know that everytime a camera takes a picture it does a time stamp of the picture on the file. In older cameras you would actually see the time stamp on the image.

In more advanced cameras the time stamp....or meta data remains hidden to the human eye.

If you upload pictures to FB the date stamp is removed...but not all sites remove the time info from pics.

So let's say you sent pictures to a site like TT Energy Update your time stamp remains.

If you click on those pictures and copy and paste their link into a website like Find then you can see the date stamp on a that, I mean the time the picture was taken.

I got time stamps of 8:13 am.

Take a look at these screen shots and then try it yourself using the links i provided above.

Check out the time stamp on this...


Now the time stamp says 8:13....AM....the clock says 21:13:58.....factor in that these clocks are attached to satellite computers and so daylight savings time pushed the clock forward by an hour...then the PowerGen clock is 12 hrs off plus 1 hr for the daylight.

Even if you don't accept that....I seriously doubt that the internal clock on the camera that took the PMs pictures changed its time to show 8:13 am....

Tell me what you think the timestamp data tells you.

In the meantime, you think PowerGen can send any senior technicians to explain what really happened last Thursday night?

Full Dotish and Full Dangerous!

Responses to Barbed Messages

Apparently Barbed Messages has hit a nerve. Readers out there think that I should have used the blog space to extend condolences to the Ramsahai's family, instead of raising questions about a series of events that seem related if only because the names and players keep popping up.

Had four or five young men from Beetham, Laventille or Sea Lots been burnt to death and wrapped in barbed wire, I doubt anyone from Jahaji Desi would even care that I wrote about the circumstances surrounding their death and the even more circumstances that have happened prior to their death.

The unfortunate thing too is that members of the Jahaji Desi blogosphere cannot even see that all levels of crime in the country are related. White collar to blood crimes....fraud crime to gang and drug related crimes....and in the midst of all of that is a Prime Minister who has been linked to several crimes in the past 33 months as a possible victim: a kidnap attempt, 2 assassinations and one threat.

Apparently it is taboo to talk about such....and apparently people with day jobs aren't supposed to blog according to the very upset folks at Jahaji Desi.

I sense the writer of the letter posted below doesn't believe that anyone else can or should write about a series of crimes and how they appear. Pity though that even forensic pathologist Valery Alexandrov thinks the criminals were sending a message with the bodies of these two young men, and the head less body in La Romaine and the young girl found in the Gyaymare river. Pity too that there were not one, but two newspaper reports between 2010 and 2013 that imply that Ms Ramsahai might be related to the PM...the head of our national security council.

Pity that all these details are there...and people choose to be upset about the wrong things.

Take a read:

From: Keshav Maharaj Sender: Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 22:36:08 -0800 (PST) To:;; ReplyTo: Subject: [FREE SPEECH] _ Eternal Pantomime Insensitive!!!

“Eternal Pantomime” Insensitive and reckless blogging!

In her own ego-stroking blog “The Eternal Pantomime”, I have read one of the most insensitive and foolish pieces yet! The blog (appropriately named “pantomime” to reflect the nature of the individual responsible for it) in one of its latest installments addresses the most tragic incident of the murders of Jerome and Dale Ramsahai.

Now, one would expect any sound individual to sympathize and extend condolences to the bereaved family in such a trying time. I mean, two innocent lives of young men who had very bright futures ahead of them, were recklessly taken in the most inhumane and devastating manner. However, the writer chose instead to focus on whether or not the sister of one of the victims was a relative of the Prime Minister (which she admitted she herself did not know) and why she sat on a state board. Excuse me miss, but are you serious? Do you not have family of your own? How can you be so insensitive?

The article goes on to state “And who was the message for? Because a message was being sent by their killers. The killers or their handlers are pissed off….what are they pissed off about or who are they pissed of at?” referring to the gruesome murders of the two boys. Apparently, someone decided to play “Criminal Profiler” and determine that ‘a message was being sent’. I had no idea we had a Behavioral Analysis Unit in T&T! Oh wow!

It is alleged that this blog belongs to a particular UWI lecturer who apparently has way to much free time on her hands. Suppose one of her students has the misfortune to read the utter rubbish on this blog, what will they think of her? I am in support of blogging as I believe it’s a way of expression, but a word of advice to anyone who wish to “blog”, please Blog Responsibly!

Keshav Maharaj Disgusted reader __._,_.___

Djarrell Unchained!

Darrell Heeralal went Tarantino on us yesterday. When he finished whipping "niggas" there was blood everywhere. I've known Heeralal for more than a decade. The comment wasn't atypical. In fact it wasn't even new Darrell. He has a penchant for delivering his ideas in the rawest language, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Yesterday was a prime example of the latter.

The thing is, Heeralal vented an opinion that many people, of all races and ethnicities believe : that poor people, especially poor black people are sub-human and don't deserve to be treated with dignity. It is this attitude that makes us blind to their plight. It is also an attitude that is linked to both race and class. And if you went through all of Heeralal's comments yesterday, you'd see he was really focussed on class discrimination than race discrimination. Which is ironic, because Heeralal quotes Karl Marx ad nauseam. and I've often said to him he discusses Marxism and Socialism in a vacuum. So to see him let loose on the powerless underclass the way he did yesterday was a lesson in irony (cue Alannis Morissette).

Class discrimination is rampant in Trinidad and Tobago. The existence of the West Accent, the Convent Accent, the Prep School Accent and our enthusiasm at mimicking them is evidence enough. When it comes to poor people, especially poor black people, we are incredibly put out. How dare they be all up in our faces while we trying to be upwardly mobile? How dare they remind us that state wealth isnt distributed adequately and that some people have access to all of the resources; but most people have access to none.

We never see how daily they are oppressed and how it then results into a spill over of rage that leads to blocked roads, burnt tyres and police intervention.

Yesterday a man lost his entire family in seconds. Seconds. We can't return them to him. Yesterday and this morning that man is firm in the knowledge that he may never receive justice...ever. Because in this corrupt narco state of a country the cliques protect their own. In the midst of wrenching grief, this man knows that the person responsible for killing his family may never be brought to justice. The community of Sea Lots responded angrily, impulsively and violently. The police and armed services responded back.

Meanwhile, on a computer somewhere, a citizen, who happens to be a freelance journalist posts up a rant. It is both classist and racist. He sincerely believes that poor(economically) black people who protest should be shot and killed and cabbages planted on them. He is unapologetic. Within seconds, other people who have little to no clear details of the tragedy, but who also have a deep and abiding disgust for poor black people because they believe them to be a burden on society, click like on his status and add comments. Of the five people who clicked like, one is a police officer. Another one is a friend of mine; and yet another is an online persona I know who is quite comfortable with using the word Negro to describe and define Afro- descended people.

None of these people think there is anything wrong with Heeralal belittling the magnitude of the tragedy, or with him decrying vigilante style justice and then endorsing it with his own brand of vigilante justice. As much as Heeralal is disgusted by the violence of niggas...he has no problem suggesting violent measures of his own. Let's arm ourselves and shoot them niggas...and when we're done, let's plant cabbages on them....I mean we can recycle, right? All those black bodies will be useful for something.

Most folks missed Heeralal's reference to 1970 criminal Michael X. He was featured in that Jason Statham movie The Bank Job. Michael X was an alleged Black Power Revolutionary who murdered two people, buried them in shallow graves and planted cabbages on the graves...

Now, for the people who liked His comments, I'm curious...because he referred to Sea Lots residents asking for handouts....but no one asked the government for anything yesterday....and the government certainly never showed up to assist. Not a counsellor or grief specialist reach Sea Lots yet under this caring Glen Hamper Caravan get ah flat tyre in Sah Wah Chupke Chupke!

So yeah, for the likers of Heeralal's comments, explain this: Why when the government and businessmen and the wealthy minority holding us to ransom with high prices in supermarkets, reduced gas subsidies, CLICO, HCU, $$$$ dollar handshakes, handouts, contracts, airport fiascos, Constitution Fiascos etc.....nobody deeply pissed off enough about that to launch into a tirade? But a man loses his family, a community senses the corrupt police system about to hoodwink them and we lash out at them in united voices...quick to point out that we might be black but we ain't niggas? Really? That's pretty niggardly thinking....

How come Black people are the only people who are considered a drain on the economy when we lose money daily to fraud, corruption, overspending on govt projects etc......Beetham, Sea Lots and Morvant causing that?

And last the same people that was liking Heeralal's comments....what exactly is there to like about arming yourself, shooting a nigga and planting cabbages on him?

Don't keep me waiting on your responses now.....a nigga might burn a tyre up in this joint!

People who endorse racist/classist violence not normal....dey Full Dotish!


Constitution Reform For Whom?

Ethnic parity is a big issue for this government. Senators Devant Maharäj and Anand Ramlogan have made careers as activists from the Equal Opportunities Act. Kamla Persad-Bissessar is on record as refusing to support the Caribbean Court of Justice because she needed to see more Indian judges. Nizam Mohammed also asked for ethnic parity in the police service.

So given their predilection for ethnic parity over merit, one would expect that this government would ensure that its policies and its marketing reflected ethnic parity as well.

Recently the COP, a member in the PP Govt began its campaign for Constitutional Reform. It has released two advertisements, and I can only hope that they have more adverts planned, because if one was to go by the demographic targeted in these ads, Trinidad and Tobago, a nation with at least 6 ethnic/racial categories on its CSO records, only has an Indian demographic.

Sorry COP, if you going to really represent Trinidad and have to reflect Trinidad and Tobago. This advert campaign and its overt and subliminal messages FAIL!



Breakingest News: Jack Probes Himself

Hot off the press, or off the porcelain throne, the breakingest news is that the MoNS isn't going to issue a statement on the Illegal Flying Squad Unit that it is alleged he set up without Parliament's knowledge. Rather, the Prime Minister, in another breath taking power play has announced that the Minister will now probe himself. Stay tuned for further details of this anal probe that no doubt will lead to the country's biggest prostate massage, ever....