The Covid-induced confinement imposed on citizens by the Government provoked a range of reactions—from anger and drunkenness to solitude and self-pity. Some persons came perilously close to crossing the thin line between sanity and insanity.
I was lucky to have lived the multi-faceted life I did before the pandemic—soldier, adventurer, prisoner, politician, teacher and a range of other life-skills that prepared me for just about anything I might face during the pandemic. Of course, as a human being and more so a humanist, I was shocked by the mass of people globally who were impacted by the virus, by how many were dying “live” before the lenses of reporters’ cameras, agony etched on their faces, questions writ large on them: why me? Continue reading Covid and gas pains: who’s crying now?→
A few days ago the Attorney General asked the Parliament to approve a supplementary vote of $118.9 million for his ministry. Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein asked (perhaps pleaded is a better word) how much money the lawyers (120 local and nine foreign) were being paid and the matters for which they were retained.
From the AG’s angle of vision, such a question was preposterous. He responded: “I would like to place on record that the request for the supplementation is driven by the fact that we are still in the course of settling $141.3 million in arrears from the period 2010 to 2015, during which $444.4 million was expended and arrears of $141.3 million left.” Continue reading Digging Out We Eye in Broad Daylight→
Trinidad and Tobago should be grateful for having among its citizens patriots who are unafraid to speak out on issues that affect us all, and more importantly, who bear allegiance to the country, not to any political party. Of course, such persons have the right to support a party of their choice at any point in time. But they also jealously maintain their independence by criticising the policies and actions of the party they voted for when they are convinced it has made decisions that are inimical to the best interests of the nation. Continue reading Identifying and fighting economic apartheid→
They looked pathetic, three of the leading calypsonians in the country—Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Pink Panther—as they begged the Government for a “mere half-a-million-dollars” to operate the Calypso Revue tent over the three-week Carnival season. Admitting that they had already received $100,000 funding that was woefully inadequate, the top bards invoked the name, memory and legacy of the great Lord Kitchener, who founded the Revue 55 years ago. For Kitchener’s sake, they pleaded, grant us the half-a-mil. Continue reading Death of calypso tents→
If fantasy could be magically transformed into reality, as Dictator-General of Trinidad and Tobago, I would harness the approximately $10 billion per year that is wasted on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling and put that money to productive use.
But then I’d be a dead dictator before I could even proclaim the prohibitions, since I verily believe that 90-plus per cent of my countrymen smoke, drink alcohol or gamble, and many of them engage in all three vices. Continue reading We must do, or die like stray dogs→
The land slippages and other failures that occurred on the newly-opened section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway might be a blessing in disguise if the Government could resist the temptation to play politics with the costliest public works project ever in the country. This is also no time for those who oppose the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the new highway to gloat over the defects, seeing them as “karma” or punishment for the Government for proceeding with construction even as protestor Wayne Kublalsingh remains at death’s door in his marathon hunger strike. Continue reading Backward ever, forward never→
Robin Philpot’s important new book Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa is an eye-opener and essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the recent history of Rwanda, ongoing U.S. and Western policy in Africa, and how efficiently the Western propaganda system works.
As in the case of the wars dismantling Yugoslavia, there is a “standard model” of what happened in Rwanda both in 1994 and in the preceding and later years, a model that puts the victorious Tutsi expatriate and Ugandan official Paul Kagame, his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), and his Western supporters in a favorable light and the government of Rwanda, led by the Hutu Juvenal Habyarimana, in a negative light. Philpot challenges this model in all of its aspects and shows convincingly that, in a virtual miracle of systematic distortion, this version of history stands the truth on its head. Continue reading Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa→
IF ANYONE can produce proof that there was a time when this country’s state-owned national airline, in whatever incarnation, made a real profit over a sustained period, meaning at least one year, I would surrender my sanity and vote in the next election. I feel safely insulated from having to do something so unpalatable because I know that in the post-Independence history of BWIA, now CAL, taxpayers who may have never travelled on an aircraft have paid dearly to keep the airline afloat. In the process, they have funded generations of joy riders who are stricken with a stratospheric strain of “gas brains”, and affliction I call “plane brains”. Continue reading Cut CAL to the bone→
Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra is calling on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to stop the Indian trade fairs that are operating in this country.
Speaking at yesterday’s business forum held by the High Commission of India, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, at the chamber building in Westmoorings, Mishra said the Indian government distances itself from the activities of the “so-called” Indian trade fairs. Continue reading Mishra pleads for Govt to stop Indian trade fairs→
EDITOR: I have just viewed the Trinidad and Tobago Residential Telephone Directory 2013 for the first time. The image consists of 6 faces. I wonder what percentage of Africans and Indians are dark-skinned in Trinidad and Tobago? Continue reading Unrepresented Black Faces in T&T Ads→