Kamla’s Casual Carelessness

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 27, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne year ago Kamla Persad-Bissessar was elevated to the leadership of her party. In May of last year she was elected prime minister of the country. Since then she has shown herself to be incompetent; of questionable intellectual maturity, and deficient in judgment. As we enter 2011, I wonder how many persons feel she is steering the ship of state in a positive direction.

There was great euphoria when Kamla took over the reins of government. She seemed to be a breath of fresh air and the start of something new. It is said that she rules by consensus (even the selection of the ministers of government was done democratically-much different from the way it was done in the past), and she genuinely welcomes her colleagues’ input.

Then she began to send mixed signals. While we welcomed her doing away with the illegal procedure of having nonelected officials act as prime minister in her absence, she made the whole exercise into a pappy show by giving everybody a seven-days. Thus Jack Warner, Winston Dookeran, Errol McLeod, and Vernealla Alleyne Toppin acted as prime ministers.

These appointments, in varying degrees, made many people scratch their heads in wonder. Although C. L. R. James, our astute political thinker, argued that every cook can govern, one wondered how equipped some of these persons were to lead our country if a major crisis were to occur under their watch.

The prime minister’s ministerial choices have also been a bit mind-boggling. We’ve seen raucous outbursts by the attorney general (keep in mind our country needs only a prime minister and an attorney general to run the country); the intemperance of Anil Roberts who has not yet discovered that he ought to comport himself in a manner that reflects honorably on his office; and the quickly disappearing specter of Therese Baptiste-Cornelis Baptise whose fall was quicker than her rise. One can even forgive the peripatetic Surujatan Rambachan if he realizes that the foreign minister of T&T ought not to be an advocate of Hindu interests at home and abroad.

When one examines the PM’s decisions, one wonders at her casual carelessness. It took some time, but gradually we came to realize that she isn’t up to the job. What we could not have known is that as democratic as the prime minister’s gestures seem they mask an inability to lead, an intellectual sloppiness, an equivocal mode of operation; and an inability to inspire confidence in our nation’s future.

In the course of time, her masquerade began to unravel; then her ill-fated decision to select Reshmi Usha Ramnarine as the director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) blew her cover. Not only did it demonstrate her ineptness, it left one wondering what could have made her select a young woman only thirty years of age, a junior communications technician who was ill-equipped to carry out such a sensitive task.

This is the same prime minister who got up in the House of Representatives months ago and castigated Patrick Manning for using the SIA for nefarious purposes. She even accused him of spying on the president although she has yet to tell us where and how she obtained that information. This is one instance in which the PM can neither claim ignorance nor lack of awareness about the ramifications of an office she claims was (ill)used in the past.

Just think about it. The head of the SIA is called upon to coordinate the activities of the security agencies in the country. Only three persons can order the wiretapping of citizens: the police commissioner; the head of the Defense Forces, and the director of the SIA. This young lady, bereft of any sophisticated experience about security matters and whose ambition was to seek “a challenging management position with a technology-driven organization” was given the enormous authority to spy on the whole country without anyone’s supervision.

No thinking person would entrust such a responsibility upon the shoulders of a thoroughly inexperienced person no matter what Roodal Moonilal, Rambachan, John Sandy, or Prakash Ramadhar have said by way of justification. It is difficult to see how they, honorable men, could support such an appointment in good conscience. Could it be that in spite of the prime minister’s presumed outrage at Manning’s use of the SIA she selected this young woman so that she could act in as reprehensible a manner as Manning did?

What started out as a great experiment, filled with democratic possibilities, is turning out to be a nightmare, a disaster just waiting to happen. No amount of public relations or the distribution of hampers can obscure the stunning missteps the PM has made and is likely to continue making for the good reason that there are no substitutes for good judgment; intellectual astuteness, and the capacity to manage a large bureaucracy, called the government, efficiently.

In fact, this year it will be interesting to see how she manages an economy that is facing serious challenges; starving for confidence; and desirous of industrial peace, all of which are important as it seeks to recover. I am not convinced she has the managerial skills or the competency to supervise and administer an economy as large as ours. With every decision she demonstrates that what she lacks in technical preparedness cannot be undone by splendid polemics and a “let’s be nice to everyone” approach.

There is no doubt the prime minister and her colleagues are good at stage acting and public relations. They are astute at using social networking and the government information apparatus to present themselves in the best light. They even reveal a joie de vivre that is evidenced in their in-your-face extravagance. Basdeo Panday’s description of the PP government captures things best when he said: “The PP is a functioning government. They like to have plenty functions.”

The PP should have learned from Manning’s deception of himself. Trinidadians and Tobagonians are a smart bunch of people. You can only fool some of them some of the time. Sooner or later they discern the shortcomings of offending parties and send them packing.

The PM must know that even the road to hell is paved with good intentions. They are not the most important prerequisites for good governance. Mature judgment and competency matter more. These qualities are lacking badly in our prime minister.

49 Responses to “Kamla’s Casual Carelessness”

  • The feeding freizy is over. The lady resigned and let us move on doc. The SIA and SSA were bad ideas to begin. Spying on honest hard working citizens are against democratic principle. It is funny though. The last director was given a $25,000,000 slush fund where he took his family, friends, relatives and all on expensive vacations feasting and dining sumptously. Now where was the media back then. This while “Rome” burned with thousand being kidnapped and murdered. The AKS was given no equipment to find killers unleashed on the republic, even the army and police was taking a “cut” from the victims. The worst period of T&T was recorded during the past tenure of the previous SIA leader. Yet no one knew who he was and no one really cared. So why the fuss now!!!

    Surely anyone else occupying that position could do much better. Anyways I am sure the government will review procedures and the doc should not make this young lady caught in the political cross-fires an example. She served her country well.

    • how much money Kamla already spend in these short 8 months taking her friends and family on trips to walk in Indian Independence Parade, and to collect glamor award? I guess that is the new politics right….do the same and then say the past administration did it to!

      • You miss the point keeping it realer. The point was money was being spent to defend the republic with no tangelable quantification of results. In fact I will postulate that things got progressively worst under the last regime.

  • Is it “Casual Carelessness” or a deepseated contempt for the processes and procedures of appointments to high, and highly sensitive offices? That contempt is reflected, I think, in her refusal to apologise while every time Rowley blows his nose or sneezes come yells of “Resign, Resign, Apologise”.
    This reeks of a psuedo-Brahmin contempt for the people,The Brahmins never apologize to the Chamar, they ride over them in their chariots. It reeks of, “when I open my mouth, no dog bark” We had said we were putting that behind us. More tangled web of woven lies, I presume? All of these happening over a three year period, may have been glossed oer more easily. Piling them on, error, after error, after error ad infinitum ad nauseam, seem to indicate a school girl with no sense running the country.
    I know those needing jobs and political apointments, must , perforce,make excuss for her. Those of us happily out of business but continuing to be concerned about our country, have no need to softsoap what is being done.

    • “This reeks of a psuedo-Brahmin contempt for the people,The Brahmins never apologize to the Chamar, they ride over them in their chariots”

      Another uneducated comment here. Please desist from the racial slurs and bring something of value to the political trough…

      • Why is everything racial with all yuh. The fact is that these boat Brahmins (which all Indians born is Trinidad are) think the are superior to the afro Trinbagonians. So people have to call a spade a spade.
        That these people who are currently governing the country spend the last 8 year attacking this country and using the internet to spread negative stories about this, and now they want people to respect them while they continue to show total disrespect for this nation is amazing. Only in Trinidad and Tobago would that be allowed. All of a sudden people have to careful what they say, but when these traitors were in opposition it was anything goes.
        Just imagine that the first thing this woman did was to go to NYC and ride a float in an Indian Independence day parade, imagine that. Your first foreign trip was to go to NYC to ride a float celebrating India’s Independence, but when independence is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago you can’t find none of them. Steupppppp.
        You this the PM of India will ever be caught dead on some float celebrating Trinidad and Tobago Independence day? You will have to be fool to think that.

  • “This is the same prime minister who got up in the House of Representatives months ago and castigated Patrick Manning for using the SIA for nefarious purposes.”

    Yes Mr. Manning was using the SIA for nefarious purposes and it was good that the issue was brought to light, sanitized through legislation. SAUTT was a billion dollar illegal entity, where were the voices of NAEAP when money that could have fed starving Africans in Laventy and Murdervant were being funneled into a million dollar Blimp and endless hiring of British police officers. You see you can hire and spend but if the results still show nothing that brings peace to the people what is the point of such wastage.

    The PM was right to expose Manning and his desire to maco any and everyone. Given another few years Manning would have followed the Haitian government Papa Doc style and create the “Matook” or worst the Grenadian Gary style and create the “Mongoose gang”. One by one all opposition would have been executed.

    The postion of SIA director was alway a private matter until the media driven by the rottweiler made these public delcaration. Nobody knows the previous director because he was busy funding his family business/happiness instead of catching criminals and crooked politicians. Under his watch murder rose to over 500 young mainly African males. Where was NAEAP at the time. But this constant attack on the PM who is perhaps far wiser and sharper than the former geologist leader is shameful. More importantly the media compromise security and put the appoint director life in danger by going to her home to investigate her. Shameful it is and unfortunately not worth writing about. But the doc enjoys the “Kuchur”…………Lord help him

  • “ Manning was using the SIA for nefarious purposes and it was good that the issue was brought to light, sanitized through legislation. SAUTT was a billion dollar illegal entity…The postion of SIA director was alway a private matter until the media driven by the rottweiler made these public delcaration?”
    Khem do you really re read some of these comments before you press the send button my friend? You’e got to do much better than this my friend.
    I myself have occasionally pushed the button at times, in terms of a particular point of concern ,here and there when I deem it fit,but there comes a time ,when one has to stop ‘sipping the tasteless tribal cool aid,’ and ‘keep it real,’ in the over all interest of our entire country , if you and similar others ,really are as concerned about it’s welfare,as claim.
    If Manning used and abuse his power re illegal SIA/ SAUTT , and you forgot to add, the entire Police Service ,Army and Prison Service, then how do you propose that be rectified? Is it by small tweaks, and tucks, of a European foreign head, or borderline dunce, and clueless party hacks , from within your tribal ranks so as to closely monitor dem so call characterized lifetime incompetent Africans?
    I am aware that Basdeo Panday ,your one time political high priest suffered ‘Opposition Leader burnout,’ and so often failed to fully appreciate his true role as an leader in such context, this explained his penchant for spending so much of his time playing on line video games, monitoring his large investments on the London Stock Exchange, checking up his Scottish grandkids photos, and making sure that his perturbed one time unpaid, British defense lawyer, was still up to the task of trying to keep him out of prison for alleged crimes , during the moments , straight shooting Speaker Sinanan’s Parliamentary business was in session.
    Of course that did not work out for the recalcitrant benevolent dictator, but just in case you do not know , our Opposition leaders are expected to perform certain tasks as legally mandated , and one of them is to keep their eyes on the ball , and protect the people’s business , 365 days per year. Just that you should know, there is no private matter when it come to the selection of a member of the public for a position of governmental trust.
    Now as for those sometimes honest businesses within the enclave pals of Bas, such as soon to be extradited Ish, Dish , and maybe Chicken farmer Carl Khan , along with his former Malaysian wife ,Lee Soh Wah, aka Sherrine,turn Canadian Calder Hart main squeeze,that apparently also learned to do business at the Mumbai, Ram Kirpalani , bare-feet, rags to riches school? Well , ‘dat’s a horse of a different color,’ as the wise lady used to say.
    By de way if you really are serious about engagements on serious debates , re matters of critical concern ,then why not take a page from our good Doctor Cudjoe ,as to how it’s done by de big boys , huh?
    Here is vintage Dr Cudjo,attacking with full force Robbie style:- “The PP should have learned from Manning’s deception of himself. Trinidadians and Tobagonians are a smart bunch of people. You can only fool some of them some of the time. Sooner or later they discern the shortcomings of offending parties and send them packing.”
    Take note my tribalistic friend, as to balance , objective journalism. He attacked your PM , Queen K, but in like manner took a sharp jab at the solar plexus ,of ‘Perennial ,40 year serving , and don’t want to give up power PNM Energizer Bunny Patois,de Sando kid, and Panday’s pro nepotism, ardent rival.’ Got to luv it , good job as usual Doc. No malice, or illwill, favor or affection , against our hardworking PP regime, or for de former PM,but just stating the facts,hummm?

    • “good job as usual Doc. No malice, or illwill, favor or affection , against our hardworking PP regime, or for de former PM,but just stating the facts,hummm?”

      Neal again you have fallen victim for the tribal trap set by Cudjoe. As usual he tears into the PP, for no other reason than the “temporary appointment” of SIA/SSA director. This over blown tribalist rant against an innocent citizen is shameful. Tell me Neal what was the qualification of the former SIA/SSA director? Where there certain prerequisites to that appointment, or was Manning the appointer, no qualifications considered, except a level head. Unless you have clearly spelt out qualification standards then like the doc you are braying at wind. Something I notice about you.

      The security council can appoint a person as required under the Constitution for the purpose of functioning temporarily as they restructure the SIA/SSA. The Security Council did nothing wrong in appointing the girl. The media control by the Port of Spain club choose to make this a matter of public execution. Despite the fact that the girl resigned and is no longer the head of SIA/SSA. Even today she is making headlines and selling papers. These third world media outlets do not know how to respect a citizen’s privacy when they are out of office. They like baccanal.

      Watch how tribalist Rowley will bray in parliament today. In the mean time important issues in the nation will be ignored… hmmm
      Explain to me Nealos how that could be good for the nation..

  • I have read thousands of blog responses that distinctly question the prime minster’s judgement in making this appointment. Nobody is saying that there is something personally wrong with here either. But since she is the subject and person designated to occupy a position that is more powerful than PM, President, House Speaker, or Opposition Leader, it is with this in mind that the discrection of the PM is being questioned. It is not the fault of the young lady that she fell victim to this cunning and deceptive act by those who control the administration of our security. BUT! we are rightly concerned about what process was used in picking a replacement for the head of the SIA.
    This is what the people who continue to question this appointment want the PM to explain.

  • Given another few years Manning would have followed the Haitian government Papa Doc style and create the “Matook” or worst the Grenadian Gary style and create the “Mongoose gang”. One by one all opposition would have been executed.”

    You are being excessive. This will further erode your credibility.

    Given the urgent needs of the country, even the PM’s staunchest opponents, nonetheless also prudent, should not wish her to so early appear so deficient in credibility and capability.

    It is like being driven by someone you do not like, but with both of you on a winding, dark and dangerous road, likes and/or dislikes must take a back-seat to cooperation for safety sake.

    The PM, like Reshmi, has reached the upper levels of her incompetence. Unlike Reshmi, who showed tremendous class, the PM, when it comes to the truth on this and on other matters, repeatedly acts as if the shortest distance between two points is a convoluted line.

    • “You are being excessive. This will further erode your credibility”

      What me being excessive, neverdirty??? Let me say it is a known fact the Muslimeen aided in Manning’s election victory post Panday regime. It is also a known fact that they were rewarded with quarries, URP jobs, and the freedom to kidnap innocent citizens. The Muslimeen started the kidnappings because under Islamic Sharia Law the infidels are suppose to pay “tax”. Men in long white gown were spotted going to businesses to collect the “jizra”. One of these days all of these things will come to light. As you know neverdirty what is in darkness will come to light.

      As for Reshmi the Opposition smells blood and they are going like hungry shark after an innocent citizen of the Republic. The Government on the other hand appears to be talking on all front, the Line Minister alone should be responding to this… And no one else. But this is the inforomation age, place in mike in front of a politician and they can’t stop talking. The girl resigned and is now a private citizen. More than like with a lot of information on the Opposition, hence, their desire to crucify her in the public domain. That is shameful and regretable that the media have fallen for the Opposition bait. Neverdirty, let me ask you. How qualified was George Chambers to be Prime Minister of the Republic??? Did he have a degree??? Did he have a formal tertiary level education??? NO neverdirty he did not go to UWI but he held the highest office of the land. So how could someone like Reshmi who spent 6 years working for SIA be underqualified??? Please explain.

      • I hear what you are saying.

        However, if you are serious about the progress of T&T, especially now with regards to issues of Security, you cannot in all good conscience and commonsense, try to justify one current obvious error by calling attention to an earlier blatant one.

        At some point, love for country must trump all other considerations, including one’s partisan support for party, PP, PNM, COM or else.

        Try, to avoid calling names. It might be convenient, pleasureable and easy to do, but it undermines any better argument which might be useful.

        I have to take this advice for myself, too, so don’t think I am preaching to you and not also to myself.

        Happy 2011 to you and others on this site.

    • There are those, myself occasionally, who would welcome the failure of the PP government.

      However, failure by this, or any other government, given the urgent challenges facing the country, to wit: local criminal enterprises morphing into narco-imperialism; declining natural reserves; inadequate policy options to replace these reserves; public beaurocracies long past their 19th century shelf-lives; policy chasms; tribal antagonisms, et al is to value patriotism to country above partisan sentiments to party.

      In short, let the cry be, “Country above Clan!”

      Therefore, to PP supporters, the same characteristics deservedly derided earlier in those of the PNM, cannot now become virtuous bulwwarks defending the failings in the PP; not if you love T&T above PP!

      More than any other political factor, cconsistency in valuing facts and objectivity is the best characteristic anyone: PP, PNM or any other party affiliate must now take more seriously to heart.

      The PM, unfortunately getting and taking poor advice–some of it probably her own–is wasting the goodwill and high expectations needed to mobilise, not only her die-hard supporters, but also all in T&T of goodwill to further the interests of the country and all its people.

      Thus, her call in this context to move on is germane to trying to begin meeting the needs of the country. Time and again these aforementioned challenges take back-seat in timee and effort to churlish and oafish PR accusations, for example the AG’s, “Whey de piano gorn?”.

      This call to move on by the PM is germane, despite failure on her part to own up to blatant errors, and her missing a golden opportunity apologising for egregious accusations she made, in the way her Education Minister apologised for similar wrong remarks.

      People might be partisan, but not stupid, and every example of being classy strengthens supporters and gains, if grudgingly, support from opponents.

      Making errors of judgement and even of honour occur to all individuals all the time, and with public officials, under the limelight, magnified even the more.

      Equally magnified, and magnificent is their recognizing that the worst form of error is not the initial error committed, but one’s subsequently becoming intemperate; trying to brazen one’s way out, and on the way, further accusing others.

      As grave as these are, the worst form of error is not to do with policy, or mis-statement, or of being uninformed. The worst form of error is the inability to admit to error, and disingeneous, blaming and/or throwing others under the damn bus.

      At the heart of leadership is not ability; which can be acquired, adapted and accounted for, but character.

      Character is always personal and irreplaceable.

      However, it doesn’t have to become irrevocable if one has enough honour, maturity and commonsense to admit to error, and in PM Kamla’s case thus show the electorate that she continues, despite short-comings, to be still worthy of support and confidence.

      I think she has the makings and especially at this critical juncture in the country’s multi-racial life and social development to become, as one of her predecessors Dr. Williams became, an iconic and game-changing leader for the betterment, in the politics and history of T&T.

      Finally, the best thing that PP supporters could now do for the PM and even more for the country is to call on her to do the right thing, and do it earlier than later.

      For other supporters, the best thing they can do for T&T is not wish and work for failure by the PP, but while keeping their party afiliations intact, keep ever in mind the greater good of being patriotic to the country, and thereby encourage all others to be mutually civil in political and other discourse.

      • “Finally, the best thing that PP supporters could now do for the PM and even more for the country is to call on her to do the right thing, and do it earlier than later”.( NeverDirty)

        Where was your voice when Manning and the PNM were on an arrogant path to corruption and waste?
        Where were your patriotic cries to rally behind the country rather than clan?

        • You are assuming that I am, or was with the PNM. Whether I am or not, is my advice right or wrong? Remember, “Country above Clan!” Or is Basil that comin’, not for you and me, but for the children.

  • Reshmi Ramnarine should not be blamed or ridiculed by either the Opposition or the bloggers. What should be questioned here is the process followed by the PM in making this inappropriate selection to head a very important national institution. Questions must be answered: Who made the recommendation? Who screened the application? Who checked her qualifications? The PM is responsible regardless of who screwed up in recommending this appointment. It has nothing to do with the former government, the former head of the Security or his failings. That has already been exposed. Incompetence by the PM cannot be justified or rationalized by the missteps of the former government.
    By now the PP should be up and running smoothly. To use a sports analogy, too many unforced errors will result in defeat.

  • It’s 2011, and I am trying desperately to practice the art of restraint, and so would avoid all forms of overkill, re this political debacle. It would be nice however, if the lady Queen K, learns to emulate her boy Obama , and occasionally place her tail between her legs Zandolee style , in some form of contrition, when a mistake is made , as our people can generally be very forgiving, and might even chalk it up to PP political novice jitters.
    Can the PNM Opposition capitalize on this, or will the PP regime rectify the ship of state in time ,for next election. It’s a challenge on all fronts.Now ,how is my Island Ward posse, that still remains ignored, and politically neglected during all this and similar political distractions, by the competing tribes?

  • Listen to the ethnic apologist as they exhibit the hypocrisy that is patently associated with their creed. I tell you, George Orwell had to have looked into the future, examined this time in the history of T&T, and then sat down and fictionalize his animal farm characters based on what he witnessed from this bunch. The mantra of their porcine avatars that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others is poignantly manifested in the moral and ethical relativity on display. Tigers can never change their stripes.

  • Jusaman (mervyn N. Millette)

    Prime Minister Kamla, Lead by Example

    Why the prime minister’s indecent haste to “move forward” where debate on the fiasco surrounding the recent appointment of the director of the highly sensitive security and intelligence service of Trinidad and Tobago is concerned?

    The Opposition for years before the 2010 May 24 General Elections repeated ad nauseam and the very People’s Partnership government since have continued to rehash like a mantra the allegations of malperformance of the last PNM regime.

    Selfishly convenient to “move forward” now that the shoe is on the other foot? Or indecent haste to avoid disclosure of some sinister plot and hide the truth?

    The present contentious issue of the appointment of Ms Reshmi Ramnarine as the (acting) director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) [Or is it SSA?] should be considered against the background of the following points:

    1. The electorate voted the People’s Partnership into office based on their promise to throw out and avoid the corrupt practices of the PNM and replace them with good governance. As a result, if the previous government did not stipulate or use any requisite qualifications for the appointment of the director, the present government, in keeping with its mandate, should have corrected this anomaly before proceeding to fill the position.

    2. The National Security Council and the Cabinet should have followed the accepted procedure of verifying the qualifications of anyone applying or recommended for the position. Usually, applicants for a post are required to supply copies of certificates of qualifications stated in their curriculum vitae (CV). At this high level, involving two of the most crucial executive bodies in our society, not to do so is a grave dereliction of duty, inexcusable, irresponsible and questionable as to motives.

    3. Up to the time of writing, no one in the government has made any logical statement to clarify what exactly took place in making the recent appointment, opting instead not to “move forward” by rehashing the allegations of malperformance of the last government and making contradictory statements based on contrived and unsubstantiated information.

    In the light of the points stated above, the prime minister, head of the National Security Council and the Cabinet, has the moral and political duty and responsibility to make a clear, factual statement about the procedure followed.
    At present, the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 coup attempt is in progress, with the direct support of the prime minister and her government, to find out what really happened in order to bring closure to the matter and move forward. The prime minister should apply the same principle of disclosure and freedom of information to the Ramnarine appointment issue instead of advising, “She has now resigned, now let us move forward”.

    This is the honourable thing to do and the best example for our leader to set for the rest of our society.

  • I do not castigate Ms. Kamla for going on “get acquainted” tours after election. Papa Doc, our beloved founder, did this at independence, to put us on the map. He did not do it repeatedly however, while screaming that “the treasury is empty, we can’t pay a civil service salary increases “and so on. He did not do it while failing to equip all schools with books and proper furniture, but giving laptops to new SEA passers.Laptops imply a seat, so you could have this little concentrated bit of heat right at your crotch. I am waiting on the long-term studies of sterility caused by them, but that’s by the way. As I said, one blunder, two blunders, could have been ascribed to the newness of taking office. All new office holders do them. It is the repeated scatterbrained programs of Kamla and Co. that cause me to pause and ask what manner of idiocy is this?

    As for the response of the one who yelled “race” when I talked of the Brahmins running over the Chamar in their chariots, how else would he describe the woman- a UWI student again?” who hit the cop with her car, killing him and seriously injuring his co-woker? That was only a few months ago, you cannot have forgotten except if you are lamebrained. How do you explain the new Brahmins who import race horses, and have them fed and walked by twelve year old Indian boys who should be in school?How do you explain the road accidents that kill poor people, here and in India, caused by wealthy people who never pay for them? How do you explain the importation of an American endangered species of animal- a cougar, into Trinidad and secreting it in a residential area? I would like to see the papers based on which the permit to import that animal was given. How long did it stay in quarantine, to be sure that our domestic animals do not catch diseases from it?
    No Trini is a true Brahmin, but they imitate the lifestyle of the rich and the powerful, without the obligations of responsibility, because they did not come frm a tradition of nobility but from the poor whom they now scorn.
    The people are not fooled. The days of throwing a few dollars around to silence criticism are gone.

    • Linda said“the treasury is empty, we can’t pay a civil service salary increases”.

      As far as I know the Government is offering the civil service an increase, they however want 25% for being expert paper pushers (lol). Everybody knows the civil service was invented to drain the treasury. They did it in Britan through the unions and almost brought the nation to bankruptcy. You cannot fire a “paper pusher” because the union will be there to fight on their behalf.

      As for increase I am sure the government was giving them a nice increase along with a nice bonus package. What more could they ask for. In fact the leader the PSA said it was an over $98 million increase, now that is a nice sum for being a paper pusher when you consider the population is a little over 1 million. If the government sent everybody in T&T $98 no question ask, I am sure the family of 10 would be able to afford some clothing and some extra rice and beans. So is not a lil bit of money we are talking about here.

      However we know the PSA will wine and continue to wine everytime they have to negotiate. And it is unfortunate that some people do not understand their whinin.

  • Khem my son, the word you meant was whine, as in complain, or did you mean they have all quit work for a carnival fete, doing the wine and drinking same?

    • Linda me mudder, thanks for the correction, i know it is ah distortion of the king’s language but it is play on words. If you drink wine you go whine. lol.. I notice a few impurities in your writing too but thanks for the correction. Cheers.

  • There is hardly a credible answer given by the government as to how the cork moved from the bottom to the head. Lets review some of the excues that have been advanced so far: (1) “We did not say anything when the PNM was in power”; (2) “The furor was motivated by race, ethnicity or gender”; (3) “Now that we have apologised, lets move on; (4) “It was an error in judgement and we are sorry about it”; (5) “Reshmi has resigned so it’s time to move on”. (The quotations were not exact excerpts from what was said but was meant to convey the same meaning to what was told to us – the public). The answers to these observations are as follows: #1 – The PNM is not in power, the people enthrusted you with that responsibility because according to your own campaign rethoric they were corrupt and not transparent. This is your opportunity to show that transparency that you promised and we are holding you to your word not the PNM’s. #2 – Ever since the governance by Eric Wiliams, any time there is a furor involving their ethnic or racial identity there was always a cry to “racism” regardless of the offending arguments. It has been a winning approach and continues to be practiced very feverishly by this administration. Only thing is – they are in power now! #3 – If it were a genuine mistake, an apology would definitely be in order but if we are to accept the excuses that were advanced we would have to conclude incompetence, failure to speak the truth, a lack of seriousness regarding a very sensitive and important appointment; what criteria this administration uses to determine qualification! #4 – To tell us that it was an error in judgement is the equivalent that no one In the Cabinet took took their jobs seriously. It’s like saying they did not read the resume, they did not question the qualifications and that they thought nothing of it to have an unqualified and inexperienced person manning the very serious job of security of the twin island and its neighbours. One only needs to look at the sophistication of the drug lords in South America where it takes super intelligence to crack the codes. And worse is the advancement of an individual by 22 levels to be head is enough to wonder what our government was thinking; #5 – It was the right thing for Reshmi to do in resigning and we congratulate her for that. What people expected after the elections was moving on with your own ideas, to constantly refer to what PNM was doing is like crying over spilled milk – the people already have spoken and you were given the charge to “move on” instead of constantly comparing what the PNM did while in office and that we should be equally tolerant of the “mistakes” that you make. We know the mistakes the PNM made and we are less tolerant of the same behaviour regardless of who makes them. The main questions remain who made the recommendation; who accepted it; what transpired between reccomendation and appointment. The office of the President is no less accountable for this dehbacle.

    • We know the mistakes the PNM made and we are less tolerant of the same behaviour regardless of who makes them. The main questions remain who made the recommendation; who accepted it; what transpired between reccomendation and appointment. The office of the President is no less accountable for this dehbacle.

      The recommendation was made by a PNM agent in the SSA. It was design to embarass the government. Now the donkeys should bray in the right direction of the wind. However, I don’t think that is possible with SIA/SSA agents filling the blogs and radio with their rant. The government must realise that PNM agents are all over the place and be very careful next time.

      • Khem, you are a hell of a lot more intelligent than that. I am sure that is what Sasha, Andy Johnson and others would prefer to have us believe. The more they try it seems the more the tangled web intriques.

  • Ah, Kian my child, you put it quite succintly.I hope that you are under 45, the ones who will inherit the country my generation built. The one thing I would add, is this.Did she lie about her qualifications for the job she had, from which she leap-frogged over so many more qualified people? What processes will this new government of accountability put in place to eliminate fake doctors, fake doctorates in other fields, fake Master’s Degrees ,fake Bachelors’ Degrees etc, or are we to continue to blunder on as we have begun, with an opps here and a vaps there?
    Look, it could have been worse eh, she could have been appointed as Governor of the Central Bank. Oh Gawd!
    There was someone acting for Pres. Max when this stupidness took place. I think his name was Hamel-Smith. He has been totally silent. (silenced?) since.
    Sometimes, I say things to make myself laugh. It keeps me from crying.
    LE. The Real UWI graduate.(67)

  • OK People, anyone who disagrees with the Super Brahmin Khem, is a PNM agent. Anyone who makes sense is one also. “Ah Gorn. dis ent going nowhere.” Time to move on and wait for the next blunder. I have a poetry reading to get prepared.

    The Real UWI graduate.

    • Having obtain my degree after working many and paying for partime studies, I must say that I deeply disappointed in Linda’s comment “OK People, anyone who disagrees with the Super Brahmin Khem, is a PNM agent”.

      The PNM have embedded in the political mix agents who are bent on restoring the golden era of Manning’s politics. They are the agents of infamy that the PP must always be vigilant against. This Reshmi matter is a lesson for them to learn as hard as it is… A balisier agent cause this horrible mess up and now it is time to move on Linda.


    …how Reshmi’s false resume passed the Cabinet test
    By Camini Marajh Head Investigative Desk

    Story Created: Jan 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM ECT

    (Story Updated: Jan 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM ECT )

    The woman who played a pivotal role in nominating an intelligence transcriber and her very junior subordinate to the top post of a domestic spy agency, Deputy Director of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) Julie Browne, failed to conduct the requisite high level security clearance vetting of controversial candidate Reshmi Usha Ramnarine, who resigned nine days after her January 14 appointment amid a firestorm of protests over exaggerated claims about her academic qualifications.

    The security failings of the SSA deputy director led to Ramnarine landing the controversial spy directorship which has caused deep embarrassment to the national intelligence community and to the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration.

    The recommendation itself, a breach of the usual protocol (it is normally made by the line Minister), was made to Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar on January 10 and justified the Ramnarine nomination on an urgent need to give the agency legal authority to intercept telephone and electronic communications of persons deemed to be of interest to national security.

    In making a case for the Ramnarine appointment to the top spy chief job, albeit as an interim director for six months, Deputy Director Browne, according to documents obtained by the Sunday Express, listed the job specifications as:

    •Someone who has a history in the SIA (Strategic Intelligence Agency), and who understands the culture and inner workings of this and similar organisations

    •Someone with a proven track record in the field of criminal intelligence

    •Someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with respect to the administrative, operational and technological aspects of the agency’s functions

    •Someone who, at this time, has the support of staff (senior and junior)

    Browne submitted that the 31- year-old, who was appointed member of a freshly cobbled SIA/SSA “Transformation Team”, tasked with managing the merger of the two agencies in the wake of the October 2010 firing of former director Nigel Clement, in her opinion, met the criteria for the interim spy chief appointment.

    Displaying a shocking security failure and the agency’s failings to vet its own staff, she said: “Additionally, she has confirmed that she has completed her degree, at the University of the West Indies, in Information Technology and has additional tertiary level qualifications (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)”. Express exclusives later revealed that Ramnarine had padded her resume and did not have a BSc in Information Technology as stated in her CV and in the Browne letter of recommendation sent to the Prime Minister.

    The four-page Browne recommendation relied on by the National Security Council (NSC) and by the Persad-Bissessar cabinet to push through the Ramnarine directorship paid glowing tribute to the junior officer. Browne held that: “Previous performance appraisals recommended her for immediate promotion as she is known to face challenges head on and can effectively manage duties at a higher level. Her appraisals also described her as dedicated and focused with an appreciation of both the technical and administrative aspects of her work.

    “She also uses her initiative to research and present products and services to enhance the productivity of her department. She has leadership qualities and can be entrusted with greater responsibilities. The latter has been well exhibited on the transformation team. These qualities are the foundation upon which Ms Ramnarine is recommended to serve as the interim director for the specific transitional period. Human resource practice allows for an appropriate combination of training, skills and experience. Indeed the previous director was not a university graduate,” said the Browne letter.

    Intelligence sources, however, said the Browne recommendation was akin to a deputy police commissioner making the case for a police corporal to be made police commissioner. A former top intelligence chief, speaking only on background, said Browne and the agency she heads, failed to follow basic procedures when she recommended Ramnarine for the top SSA job.

    He questioned the vetting process which led to Ramnarine’s phenomenal rise in the organisation, from a junior technician who listened to and recorded intercepted conversations to a nine-day stint in the Director’s chair and a quantum leap in salary. Ramnarine resigned on January 22 following widespread criticism and calls for her removal after Express exclusives revealed embellished academic credentials. She cited personal security concerns and media attention among the reasons for her sudden resignation.

    The Deputy SSA Director, in making the case for her choice of an interim spy chief said this: “Education, training and experience for the post of the Director of the SSA, as stated on the job description for the position, are determined by the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is against this background that I respectfully submit this recommendation for Ms Ramnarine who was hired by the Security Intelligence Agency on 1 June 2001, after undergoing a six-month selection and interview process. This process incorporates and is not exclusive to background checks and criminal record scrutiny.”

    Browne was sharply critical of former director Clement, who was fired following the dramatic public disclosure by Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar of illegal state spying on citizens, including President Max Richards, judges, politicians, journalists and trade union officials, among others. She said: “Ms Ramnarine’s immediate predecessor of the SSA, Nigel Clement, joined the SIA in June 2002 as the Deputy Director, Operations and Intelligence. At this time he held no Bachelor’s degree for a post that explicitly required one.”

    She dismissed Clement as “an ordinary naval officer” in the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and made clear that his experience “did not in any way distinguish him for the position to which he was appointed.” Deputy Director Browne contended that: “Someone with just a few years experience in the field of intelligence operations will be of far greater value than a Coast Guard officer who spent most of his working years patrolling the seas.”

    She closed the Ramnarine nomination to the Prime Minister on this note: “The forgoing is respectfully submitted for your consideration. Please be assured of my highest consideration.” Ramnarine’s CV, which contained embellished claims about her work, lists Browne as a reference.

    A copy of the embellished CV, attached to the January 13 Cabinet Note for the appointment of an SSA director contains this claim: “In my career at the Ministry of National Security, I have had the pleasure of working directly with many of our regional and international counterparts. I have also had the pleasure of working and training with the British DLO’s (Drug Liaison Officers), Israeli Mossad, the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre (ITAC) of Canada and the United States Embassy with regard to examining narcotics trafficking, terrorism and threat assessment, monitoring our borders and key industrial interests and assets.”

    The CV submitted for NSC and Cabinet consideration stated: “I also have had the opportunity to lend my mind and experience to our colleagues in Curacao and also in the Jamaican Defence Force with regard to training in analysis tactics and report writing. I have received specialized training in propriety hardware and software by international companies. Acquiring and streamlining sensitive high priority data for compilation into executive level reports and debriefs.

    “Advanced analytical skills which correlate to making split second judgment calls from data at hand. Concise report writing of acquired information for the sole purpose to be used by other actionable elements of the organisation.”

    Ramnarine also claimed: “Managerial experience leading and motivating many peer teams of 1-5 personnel simultaneously to accomplish both short and long term projects in accordance with guidance from the director and other executives, project requirements, budgeting per project and overall annual budgets so as to meet target objectives. Effective communication with peers, superiors and subordinates to ensure executive intent, ensuring that all sensitive issues are dealt with both timely and diplomatically.”

    SIA insiders told the Sunday Express that Ramnarine was a junior employee with no subordinates under her supervision. Insiders also report that the intelligence and field training she talked about referred to the use of the intercept spy equipment from the Israeli manufacturer and not the Israeli intelligence, Mossad.

    Intelligence sources and SIA insiders question Browne’s failure to conduct the requisite background checks. One security expert who described the security lapse as “deeply embarrassing,” said Ramnarine should have been subjected to a rigorous vetting process including standard polygraph and psychometric testing before her name was submitted to the National Security Council for consideration. Browne did not answer her cell phone and messages left on her voicemail went unreturned up to late yesterday evening.

    Meanwhile, senior prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General, Sharon Sharma, who Ramnarine listed as a reference on her resume, expressed surprise that she had been named as a reference. She said while she knew Ramnarine, she never gave permission for her name to be used as a reference. Nor was she asked, she said.

  • Is there anything which the Prime Minister has done thus far for which she obtains an applause? Some of her critics given the same opportunity will have committed similar(or worse)blunders.Canadians,are sometimes referred to as the “Nit’nPick”or the”FandQ”Fidget and Quibble”.Some Trinbagonians are identical.Meanwhile,are there criticisms about the recently appointed Commissioner of Police? His job is difficult.However,after one year as the(COP)examine his accomplishments.Because of the degree of difficulty a one year probationary period is standard for the(COP).Madam Prime Minister requires not only the support of her Cabinet;but also her cook,chauffeur,the opposition,and all who profess that crime must be eliminated from your society.Even those who(smile)want to see her”wine”. At this juncture here are two political predictions.1)Barrack Obama wins re-election in 2012.2)Kamla Persad-Bissessar wins a second term.ANY TAKERS!

  • It would be best for the PM and minister of national security to take responsibility, promise to be more vigilant and transparent in the future. Anymore “cooking” of this story by Sasha, Andy Johnson and others will definite spoil the brew.

    • I agree and this incident should reinforce the fact that this new government should trust no one, especially those in the Public Service who have srtong desires to see the government fail.

  • There is a saying that – small minds victimize a lot. I am glad that hundreds of millions of dollars were not spent before we were alerted. I wonder when we will be getting our money back. (The money from Tarouba, the church, etc., etc.). I think these charges must be laid now.

  • I am truly happy that we are now checking in T&T. Calder Hart slipped though our fingers.

  • Professor Selwyn Cudjoe, seems to have a long standing problem with the East Indian population in Trinbago. I remember his statement, “Turbulent times ahead for Blacks in T&T. Trinidad Guardian, 2 Aug 2010. I cannot agree with this statement more, but not for the same reason Dr Cudjoe made it.

    Afro Trinbagonians had better become industrious people very quickly, because this government is not in the business of erecting tall buildings and giving hand outs to lazy layabouts.

    Who is responsible for the rising crime rate in Trinbago? The African population, which amounts to a mere 37%, are responsible for more than 70% of the murders committed in the country. Black people in Trinbago are responsible for all the travel advisories, that are made against the country. If one were to look around the world, one would indeed find that wherever there is a Black Leader in charge, the people live in abject poverty and hopelessness.

    The conclusion is that Indo Trinbagonians are smarter, more industrious and more productive than their Afro counterparts.

    The reason why Prime Minister Kamla allowed the various members of the PP to act in her stead, is obviously, she did not want to be seen as favoring any particular member(s) over others. This government remember, is a coalition government.

    I think that Black people are best suited for colonial rule, rather than self governance.

    Do Ma’at and live.


  • What idiocy is this again? Are the riots in Egypt because Mr. Mubarak is BLACK? Some of their university trained people are street sweepers, and Tunisia, and the sympathy ones in Yemen and Lebanon? The abject poverty of India is well documented in Slum Dog Millioniare. I asked my friend Dr. Agarwal if what was portrayed was true, his response was “worse than that” This has also been documented by friends of mine who travel for the US government and a major oil company. In the Phillipines, it costs five years of a middle class income to get one year of college, and the country ships its people out all over the world to work and send home money. Almost every servant I met in a household in Saudi Arabia in 2004 was from the Phillipines.That is a test of poverty, travelling thousands of miles to do the most menial work, like the Chinese in Trinidad who came under recent contracts.

    Every now and then, an idiot pretending to know what they are talking about, raises stupidness like this. Your degree must be from the School of Reshmi Ramnarine, in other words, a lot of tata, amounting to nothing.
    I no longer worry about the crime committed by young blacks who are provided with guns and drugs to sell by others. I noted a while back that for every young Black killed in somebody’s drug war, another one of another race, dies on the roads in an “Accident”. Mother Khali seems busy with the body count. Check this out yourself and see.

    The most foolish claims are made by people on this site, hiding behind one name. I do not know why trinicenter.com allows such cowards to post anything.
    LE the real UWI graduate.

  • Drum the idiots out of parliment, including the two who have military connections. Get out the TAssa, the bongo, the Steelband and traditional African drums, and beat them until they all step down. This was a longer piece, but the guys who periodically try to prevent me from posting were at it again today.
    We are being led by a drunken sot- drum her out.
    We are being lied to again and again– drum them out.
    They do not know what they are doing- drum them out.
    Drum them out all you who have sat on the sidelines.
    Drum them out.

    • The ignorant tone of the above is reminiscent of racist Tea Party members openly attacking President Obama. I guess living in the US has that effect on people.

  • That is the overall sentiments of the supremacists. That is why there is turmoil in Fiji, in Kenya, in parts of South Africa, in Guyana and in T&T.

    When I reference this kind thinking to many Trinis they pshaw it say ‘man we are all Trinis’. At the end of the term of the PPP most of us will have learned a lesson of history, and will come forth much stronger because of that experience

    These lazy parasites who walk behind the brave who lay down their lives to open doors, and then like carrion feast on the proceeds that are released should never be allowed to dwell amongst us. They are the worst kind of contaminant, manifesting the geneology of the neanderthal blood that runs through their veins.

  • TMan, you must be envious of my accomplishments. We would have still been a colony of Britain if Eric Williams had not studied abroad, and worked abroad, then came home to make changes.Remember that people of Kamla’s ethnic group went as a separate delegation to argue AGAINST independence. Its right there in the records. Go read. His was the only truly multiracial party in the country. Remember? Or had your grand mother not yet given birth?
    My ancestors fought in BOTH WW1 and WW11. How about yours?
    If the worst you could say is that I live in the USA, at least my accomplishments are verifiable, even through Google. Do you even have a NAME? Get lost, knucklehead.

    • Linda Edwards, I am not envious of your accomplishments, but I am aware of them. That is why I am so surprised by your rants, since my expectations of you are a lot higher.

  • I just finished reading the Express, all the articles. The attacks on Ms. Ramdass and Ms. Lyder, for pursuing this affair tells me one thing, some sycophants are determined to savage everyone who raises a question about the soundness, political and mental, of this government. Once, years ago, I publicly corrected a certain UWI historian for saying that the first Muslims in TNT arrived on the Fatal Razack. I posed my “correction” in the form of questions pertinent to the Mandingoes, who purchased their own freedom long before emancipation, and one of whose leaders, Jonas Mohammed Bath, a Sultan of a West African province sold into slavery, was eventually buried in the Lapeyrouse Cemetery.The learned professor flew into a rage. A woman challenging HIM? With facts he had not shared? What that learned professor did then, was significant, because it showed me a side of some people’s characters I had not seen before. He accepted the correction, as if the Mandingoes were not “Real” Muslims. And later, In a newspaper article he accused me of Cultural Terrorism. I had not met that term before. All for correcting him on something he assumed no one in the audience knew, so he was willing to lie, to erase the fact that the first followers of Islam in Trindad were West Africans.Islam reached Africa within fifty years of its origins.
    Since then,I have seen that sort of scurrilous attack launched on a number of people, when they truthfully disagree with the official position. Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate, speaks of it in The Argumentative Indian- his comments on the politics of India under the Janata Hindu party. They were busy revising the history books to remove the contributions of the Khan rulers of India. Some time ago, a Trini disputed that Khan meant King. I had to send him to the dictionary.
    Why do some people feel that they are all right to criticise, but if you critice what they do,based on objective analysis, they descend to personal attacks, like “Cultural Terrorism”? and threats to Ms. Lyder and Ms. RAmdass? An educated populace is the only guaaranty of democracy. The people have to be free to think, express and criticize.

  • “Usha Ramnarine as the director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) ” I beleive that the President House issues a statement indicating that is was the SSA and not the SIA. Which is no different to me since I still have little idea of what the mandates of the Entities are?

    Secondly, in primary school (St. Crispin E.C.) back in the 80’s, we did assignments where you had to distinguish Fact from Opinions, a lesson that I never forgot. However it is one that I urge all TrinBagoin to learn. Specifically when reading or hearing articles and speeches from the more “prominent” and “educated” in our society like Prof. Cudjoe and Mr. Anisette of NATUC. We were these gents over the last 5-6 years? Were they blind, deaf and dumb? I at least hope that when Prof. Cudjoe writes that he declares his bias and allegiance so one can filter fact, from informed opinion from bias opinion.

    The fact the Prof Cujdoe (among others) is trying to compare the PP Gov’t performance over 8 months to the PNM over 7 years is laughable at best. Furthermore the double standard displayed by Prof. Cudjoe and the the Opposition on “moving ahead” is also incredible. One Moment they are tell the Gov’t to forget all of the transgressions, mismanagement and poor decisions of the PNM that we T&T is currentlyfeeling the effects of. “Get on with running the Country! What is in the Past is in the Past” they shout. But in the same breath the Prolific saviour of Dr. Williams’ party declares that we can’t move forward on the SIA/SSA Debacle. And I agree FULLY! However, my concern is the two “tonguesness” or bi-polarism of Prof. Cudjoe and others, as we can not as a society “just move on” without examining the mistakes of the past to hold persons accountable and for us not to make the same mistakes. In fact no new management can effectively govern without first doing a current state assessment. It is a prerequisite for Mid-Long Term Strategic Planning.

  • Sir, None of your comments (Augur) take away from the fact that this was an unqualified person for this position. We elect “unqualified ” people, politicians, to office, believing in their vision. It is their duty to recruit the most qualified people for each position. That is why the civil service in Commonwealth countries, outlives the politicians. It is my considered opinion that this hustled assignment, without checking credentials was given to someone as a reward for something. The hue and cry is to find out if this position was earned on her back. Even someone who went to primary school in the “80’s knows what that last phrase means. So I have given you an example of a fact, and an opinion. Over to you.

  • Ms. Edwards, perhaps you misunderstood me and I quote “…declares that we can’t move forward on the SIA/SSA Debacle. And I agree FULLY! ” I agreed with you and the others that the debacle must be explained and it investigated and things put in place to see that it never happens again.

    What was missed in most of my post is that those who were in a psotion of power or direct beneficaries of the last PNM regime and did or say nothing to correct some of the scandaloul actions can not now come and present themselves as “objective” or “voice of good governace” it is insulting to the resanablby inteliigent amomsgt us!.

    Those in power (PP, PNM etc” always complained about T&T 7 day memery but secretly take advantage of it. Therefore I am of the opinion ( and perhaps it would not be lost in this post again) that the Dr. Rowleys and the Prof Cudjoe would used anything to take the light from off of them, I have not yet gotten over the fact that an AGency was “bugging” Member of the Judiciary, Execute and the Legislative amount others! And why hasn’t the Prof. Cudjoes and the DR. Rowleys raised similar hell! Is that issued of lesser importance? Or the fact that it was done under a PNM regime that we can now easily blame Patrick Manning?

    That is my expressed opinion.

  • You forget, my friend, that the fact that Rowley was almost not given the nod by Manning in the election prior to the one lost so badly by the PNM,is because Rowley stood up to him in the Calder Hart mess, and was the first to sound the warning, publicly, that Calder Hart was in fact running the country. As a result of that noise he made, he was dubbed a wajang, was scorned by screening committees, except that his Diego constituents were soundly in his corner. He was investigated for teacupgate, and the Tobago hospital, as well as his wife’s business/housing estate. He survived all of that, and brought down the entire Integrity Commission. He was pilloried just like Ralph Maraj and others were pilloried when they broke with the Panday clique.

    I say this again, only thoese who have individual economic worth, or a skill not based on their dependence on governments in power, can openly criticize such governments. I am often castigated by some responders here for living outside TnT, although I have investmments, including family, in TnT. I can write what I please because TnT cannot shut down my computer.I need no license approval from whichever government is in power,
    and the Gov’t of TnT cannot lose my pension check, which is paid automatically by computer here where I live. When I come home, I bring enough essential medicines, and there are doctors connected to the family if I get sick. See? I am free.
    There are very few people in TnT who do not need something or other from the goevernment, and so, many in TnT are not free to comment on the idiocies of any political leader, either from within the parties, or outside.
    There was this civil servant once, called Gene Miles…

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