Begging for Freedom

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 11, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMany of us do not understand that freedom is not something one asks for. It is something that one demands; a state of being that is renewed perpetually through our actions. Imagine the spectacle of the biggest unions in the country and the opposition party begging for permission to march rather than demanding that their constitutionally-guaranteed right to assembly and petition their government be honored which, incidentally, is the basis of democratic government.

This is why I was so astonished to read that “The labour union has written to the Commissioner of Police [COP], Dwayne Gibbs, requesting permission to stage a march against crime on October 30 (Trinidad Guardian, October 8 ) or Keith Rowley’s affirmation that PNM is “affected by the State of Emergency which prevents the assembly of persons. He instructed the party’s general secretary, Ashton Forde, to write to the Commission of Police to hold a public meeting at Piggot’s Corner, in Belmont on Friday after the presentation of the 2012-13 Budget, which is something the PNM has traditionally done” (Express, October 8).

I understand the sense in which these requests were made and the desire of these two responsible leaders to act within the law. But it is important to remember that if one forgets the spirit of the law and clings to the letter of the law one is liable always to set a trap for one’s enslavement.

It is important to re-acquaint these leaders with something they know. Slavery was legal but it was unjust. It violated every essential tenet of democracy and freedom and the right of people to be. During slavery the rights of black people were taken away by a group of people who knew the letter of the law but nothing about the practice of democracy. All the slaves had going for them was an understanding of natural law that asserts people are born with inalienable rights which no one, neither Governor nor Prime Minister, can take away from them. So they did what enslaved people always do: they fought continuously for their freedom.

Today in Trinidad and Tobago we are faced with an unprecedented situation, well not so unprecedented because some years ago we in NAEAP were told we could not assembly and peacefully petition our government. We did the moral thing: we marched, ready to accept the consequences of our actions. This is what freedom entails.

A People’s Partnership (PP) government, unaware of what democracy means, declares a state of emergency (SOE), presumably to avert a drug war. Having discovered a load of cocaine at Piarco and seeking desperately to avoid a drug war in the black areas of the country they nullified citizens’ civil liberties. Presumably, only black people ingest cocaine and smoke marijuana.

Under the cover of law, they picked up over 3,000 young black men, most of whom they were forced to free within days after their arrest. No one apology was offered for having abridged their freedoms. Instead, the Attorney General who swore an oath of allegiance on the Bhavagad Gita to uphold the rights of all citizens told them that if they, wrongfully-arrested persons, feel de go get any easy money from the government for the abridgement of their freedom dey lie.

Therefore one begins with an AG who is supposed to protect citizens from any arbitrary infringement of their constitutional rights chastising the aggrieved for even contemplating vindicating their rights in a court of law. To add insult to injury, the representatives of the working people—the unions and the Opposition party—who are supposed to validate those rights decide they will beg for permission to exercise their fundamental right to petition their government peacefully.

I always thought that our Constitution is the supreme expression of our freedoms and that among those freedoms is the right of citizens to assembly and peacefully petition our government. This means that one does not write the COP begging for permission to petition one’s government, one writes the COP asking that he or she provide the necessary protection so that citizens can enjoy their constitutional rights.

The COP always has to right to argue that he cannot provide those guarantees. Under those circumstances sovereign citizens then organize themselves in such a manner to express those inalienable rights. In other words, we did not select a COP to tell us what our rights are. We selected a COP to ensure that we exercise our rights peacefully.

Freedom is never given or won once and for all times. One always has to fight again and again to ensure that one’s freedom is maintained. It lives and breathes through action. Martin Luther King called such a process creative tension. It is folly to believe that any government, be it the PP or the PNM, can guarantee citizens’ freedom. It is only citizens, by their action, who can guarantee their freedom and the utility of their democracy.

And it is not only about marching. The cavalier manner in which the Prime Minister declares that she will continue the SOE indefinitely tells us that the PP does not understand the essence of democracy. No Prime Minster or Governor can declare the arbitrary dissolution of people’s civil rights so blithely without understanding that in doing so they undermine the democracy.

The question is not whether one should be asking for permission to march or the viability of continuing the SOE. Only children ask their parents for permission to be out late at night or to go to a dance. Adults are self-responsible characters who accept the consequences of their actions. They recognize that freedom is an understanding of what one must do to maintain one’s liberty, ready at all times to accept the consequences of one’s action.

Eternal vigilance is the price one pays for the maintenance of one’s democracy. Fold up and play dead and the enemies of democracy would dance on our corpse forever. Please do not let that be our destiny. We, in Trinidad and Tobago, deserve better.

45 Responses to “Begging for Freedom”


  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    Freedom is not free. If one is not prepared to fight to defend and maintain it, it can be quite easily taken away. Jean Jacques Rousseau understood that, the American revolutionaries who picked up his cry, understood that, Zimbabwe understands, and Angola, and Kenya. Our freedom was donated to us on a silver platter at a cocktail party at Westminister, thus we take it lightly. The current struggles in the MAgreb and other parts of North Africa and the Middle East, say that their people understand that freedom is not free. How many now alive in TnT appreciate the significance of The MArch To Chaguaramus?

  • Selwyn Cudjoe is totally correct in his conclusion that we, in T&T deserve better. We deserve better than being held hostage by criminals (of all races) who roam our fair land plundering and forcefully helping themselves to our property, women and civil liberties. The SOE allows the security machinery to provide that “eternal vigilance” of which Cudjoe speaks to maintain our democracy and protect the lives of law abiding citizens. He is correct; we cannot “fold up and play dead”. We must identify and arrest these “enemies of democracy” to prevent these lawless creatures from dancing “on our corpses” forever.

    Also, the Unions and the Leader of the Opposition should be granted their permits to march and conduct their public meetings as long as their activities conform to the requirements of the SOE.
    Cudjoe’s comparison of the SOE to slavery is really stretching it. Is he trivializing a gross aberration of mankind to the temporary State of emergency in T&T?

    “Under the cover of law, they picked up over 3,000 young black men, most of whom they were forced to free within days after their arrest”(Cudjoe)
    So far 70 -80 of these men were freed, mainly because the Police failed to present the evidence required for conviction. The Commissioner of Police explained that enough time was not given to the Police to acquaint themselves with the new Anti Gang leglislation.It does not mean that these men are innocent. It is possible that many more may be freed. Under these circumstances the PP government is guilty of poor planning. There is no cause for celebration here.
    We should be more concerned about the rights of the innocent families rather than pandering to criminals who have ravished this country for decades.

  • Thought provoking article Dr Cudjoe, and yes you have articulated the problem quite well, even as you still attempt to walk the conga line in ‘Callaloo/ Jambalaya Nation,’where allegiances shift like sinking sands on a windy / rainy day on Maracas in December.
    Our problem however ,can be encapsulated under 3 points . 1.Foreign fake expertise, playing our people like a well tune bandjoe ,from the Lara Brothers parang band.
    Let me just add,that folks may now know why a Canadian is in Charge of your Police Service , and not a national.
    A local Commissioner – just like the DPP-whose days might be numbered as we speak ,in similar fashion to the possible obstructionist , port Authority ex honcho ,recently fired-might have some empathy with the plight of citizens,suffering under the yoke of this regime, while an Albertan Canadian ,and Scotland Yard blokes ,brought in by an equally delusional,Patrick Manning , to stop Kidnapping, tends to be too fixated on the bottom line, while showing allegiances to the folks who got him his job.
    2. Neo imperialistic , & tribalistic ,false sense of nationalism. Perhaps one of the last vestiges of colonialism ,is that of a’divide and rule,’ penchant ,and so ,as long as Afrikans prefer to remain in that trap ,others will continue to run rough shod ,over rights they once took for granted.
    For example , almost 10 years to complete a hospital in little sister Tobago , treatment of the Tobago House of Assembly as if it’s some miserable recalcitrant PTA board , exorbitant airline fees, and river boat inter island , animal- like travels for desperate business folks on the island still over dependent on tourism , no coherent resources to adequately deal with security on the island ,lifetime inadequate infrastructure to the 116 square miles island , and yet no one of Afrikan persuasion , gives a darm about it’s people,since 1962 Flora Hurricane?
    Did I hear Dookie well that “government will honour its pledge for constitutional reform leading to full internal self-governance for TobagO?” Is this not straight out of the demeaning ,condescending ,Israeli /Palestinian Gaza strip,playbook? Who are these folks to think that they are in any position to decide what Tobago should get or not, or the direction they should pursue politically?

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/_3_000_PENSION-131494578.html

    3.None concern for the other. Such a gross tragedy! Behold today , folks in Trinidad that looks like the majority of Tobago citizens, that makes up the island wards , are likewise treated like 5th class citizens , and everyone is screaming like Tarzan about ugly , uncaring Indo Trini nationals , and their grateful Afrikan , brothers and sisters who make up the PP regime.
    I say empathy , and solidarity people, and less fixation on Afrika ,and similar regions ,as we know nada ,about those 54 or more nations ,and their social, neo tribal dysfunctions, apart from the fancy stories , regurgitated for our consumption , during some exotic conference , or refugee students during exchange program.
    Lord have mercy, Zimbabwe Angola, and Kenya, are the examples of free countries , we are forced to point to? If so, heaven’s forbid, and hopefully we do not degenerate to any such revolting state of affairs.
    Ahh the folly of our intellectually indiscipline ,Afrikan Trini -Middle class elites, global saviors,with too much time on their hands , that view their country as some frivolous academic exercise , while naively dreaming of a return to power , under a government that has squandered the people’s trust for longer than we can really care to remember, yes?
    Dr Cudjoe , if you care about this country, who would demand that a sledge hammer be taken- literally , and figuratively- to this PNM bunch ,that presently sits in Opposition , and destroy it all- including the foolish name of the party, and encourage a new movement , with a coherent philosophy , where caring leaders can connect with people.
    If not , rest assured , that six years from now you will be writing this exact article right where you are , in the political wilderness.Trust me on this .
    Remember Literature is your forte, as for me de globally savvy , political animal … well , filling the blanks.
    For the record , Colition/ Alliance government will be the only form of government that will ever be a factor in T&T.
    As for abused , neglected , ‘sleeping , none dancing Dragon’ call Tobago?
    Ahh, the possibilities are endless, for those with eyes to see.

  • This is like the Church asking the State permission to preach !!!
    This is exactly what is happening here. Western Societies gained freedom both Political and Religious from the cause of the Protestant Reformation.
    How come people today are not tuned to this part of our History? Because people do not READ and they are not concerned about reality.
    Check the entire History of Europe from the First century right down to modern times. Especially Western Europe and the flow of freedom.
    From cause to effect: What had people fleeing Europe all over running into the West? Why so much people in the early part of American History were rushing to these shores. look back and you would see the times of the Protestant Reformation, what they were fighting for, what came out from this struggle etc.
    Even England were affected by the reformation. What did guarantee freedom in those times? The Church and the State were controlled by an Oppressive Ecclesiastical system. Nation rose and fall under this oppression.
    The Reformation stood up against this oppression and struggled for freedom and individuality. The Struggles that brewed entitled most of Europe at this point in time around the 16th century.
    Religious and Civil liberties came about during this struggle-From Holland to the West- early settlers came to Western shores with this in mind. Religious and Civil. What brought about this freedom = YES !! the Protestant Reformation.
    Sola Scriptura This is what brought freedom to the world in modern times. An Empire without a king, a nation without a dictator, also a church without a king, no potentate ruling in the place of the Invisible God.
    If we do not cherish our freedom, our rights, am afraid that we would be held accountable for the disintegration of the same. Now we are seeing a regression back into servitude and slavery, without people even knowing what is happening to them.
    The mighty push for separation of Church and State has ever been the secularist point of view, which is acceptable in the West. Can’t mix Church with State issues, great, both should be separated, Fine ! But how come the State is only doing the talking today with its socialism programs? The Churches are even caught up with this Socialism Programs.
    The state is correct with its agenda fixing the physical. But the Church is not correct when it comes to fixing the spiritual, they are also caught up in the physical prosperity of their vanity while the spiritual aspect goes undeveloped.
    Pretty soon the Church would be begging mercy at the state for its role and existence.What a shame has come upon the just cause of religion and the spiritual.
    To much Hoaxers, Pretenders, and vain seekers- if you are so in love with the state, leave and go across to the state, don’t give up spirituality only with a name and not the power.
    Asking Government for freedom is heading into the wrong direction, pretty soon we would be at the mercy of the government asking them what to believe as a god- what fools do mortals be…..

  • Do we really know about what is freedom ? Religious and Civil freedoms?

  • Let us be clear, according to the rule of law there is a thing called unlawful detention when dealing with our court system, this simply means there can be no detention without hard evidence to back up the criminal prosecution brought before the courts, it does not matter whether the law is a relatively new law on the legislative books or one that has been there ad infinitum. Our Government has said that the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago still has the protection of the constitution at their disposal but the truth is, are they being selective on which parts of the constitution they wish to suspend during this State of Emergency. This is not a referendum on the rights or wrongs of the declaration of a State of Emergency in Trinidad and Tobago, but it is in fact a referendum on the guardianship and protection on the most basic and fundemental rights allowed under our constitution, it is an assault on our basic right of equal protection under the law. Let me also say that under our system of government the Attorney General as part of the executive branch of Government should be advising the Prime Minister and his cabinet collegues on what can and cannot be done not only under our constitution but also according to the rule of law. Instead he has been relegated to chief apologist and hatchet man for a Government that has clearly lost it’s way.

  • And who should apologise to the families of the 500+ a year that are being killed??

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    TMan, was it a Freudian slip that caused you to state the following “helping themselves to our property, women, and civil liberties”.
    I am going to have such fun using that to prove to my international friends- male and female, the true placement of TnT women in the eyes of some. You may, of course, correct this forthwith. If a woman had written this using men instead in the second slot, what would you think?

    • property- theft, burgularies etc
      women- rapes, sexual assaults.
      My comment was not meant to devalue women but to express concern for the welfare of the women of T&T.

      • Linda Edwards, class of '67

        I know what you meant son, but in the adopted system by which we count- first second, third, you put women second. Women are quite capable of protecting and defending themselves, if given a chance. Men project then as weak and second class, because men see them as part of your first class- property.

  • PNM Blanked: No police permission to hold post-budget meeting
    Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs has rejected the People’s National Movement’s application for a public meeting at Piggott Corner on Friday.

    …Gibbs blanks PNM on budget meeting

  • Dr. Rowley, if you and/or any of your colleagues like Dr. Browne did your Shakespeare well, you would despite the vast differences between the political contexts then and now, still recall the historic words of Brutus when faced with the momentous decisions he and other senators had to make.

    Brutus:
    “There is a tide in the affairs of men.
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”
    Julius Caesar, Act 4; Scene 3

    Or put another way, there are mountains on which one must choose either to stand or to stand down; and in the former to possibly die defending dignity, or in the latter to definitely live in unredeemed ignominy.

    African Americans also had such a choice when they insisted on their historic Selma to Montgomery marchs (1965) demanding the return of their rights to vote.

    These rights had been abrogated in 1893 when the US Supreme Court, in their ‘separate but equal’ decision of Plessy vs Ferguson legally instituted the denial of Black Americans, not only from using public institutions, but also from voting.

    The Court’s decision resulted in more than 130 000 registered voters in 1896 dropping to less than 2 000 by 2005.

    These marches–as was also the decision by Rosa Parks, against the law, to sit where she wanted in a bus–was the response by Black Americans to these decades of humiliation.

    While the decision by white Canadian CoP Gibbs to dismiss the PNM’s right to hold a public meeting has significant differences to the experiences of Black Americans under white Jim Crowism, yet similarities in the historical resonance between Selma and Piggot’s Corner are, for Dr. Rowley, the PNM and the secure or insecure future of Black Trinis, that tide, that mountain, and that march.

  • Quoting neverdirty:

    Or put another way, there are mountains on which one must choose either to stand or to stand down; and in the former to possibly die defending dignity, or in the latter to definitely live in unredeemed ignominy.”

    This is an inspired and precise reading of the situation.

    I want to add my words of support, and to thank Prof. Cudjoe for having earlier read right the situation and the challenge.

    I take my time in these matters, and wait to be guided. The guidance I’m given now is that we as a people are at a crossroads, and the right path is the path of resistance to this only barely disguised creeping tyranny.

    As I prayed on this matter, I was guided to the following scripture:

    Ephesians 6:10-20. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

    This is where we must take a stand. Dr. Rowley must rise to the challenge in defence of our people and our republic, and I pray that Yahweh the most High God bless him to be equal to the task at hand.

    Shalom.

    • Linda Edwards, class of '67

      And MArtin Luther, that great theologian of Middle Europe,simply said:Here I Stand!A state of emergencyis the deliberate denial of civil liberties, for a narrow political end.

      Of course I do not live in TnT, and I am only one old woman, but I think the PNM if they let this pass, is doomed forever.I hope to god that I am wrong.

    • Yoruba Israelite, the inherent endorsement to the efficacy of prayer and praying in your inspired comment above is welcome and enlightening.

      In addition, the reference to the book of Ephesians where Paul refers to the spiritual characteristics of the struggle against injustice and for righteousness is more than commendable.

      I am reminded from it of the following:

      One is that I and others must remember that our Redeemer lives, and that His Word is eternal. His Word speaks to our condition throughout the earthly theatre of history and across the immeasureable span of eternity.

      We, in our lives, also testify either to His judgement against wrongdoing and wrong-doers. Indeed, we, His Children of the Promise wrestle not merely against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces which, despite their powers have already suffered defeat at the hands of our elder Brother and Reedeemer, Yeshua Hamaschia.

      Your commentary also reminds me of the power of prayer. In James 5:16, we are encouraged and called ourselves to exercise the power of prayer through the exercise of Spirit-filled and Creator given righteousness. There, James reminds us and all who would love justice and practice peace that ‘the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’

      In my life and the lives of my siblings, we have seen even after their passing, the effectiveness of our parents prayers.

      Our father, our earthly father always reminded us that our every word is a prayer and a prophecy; that it is our very words which bring life or death. Therefore, he never chided or corrected us without first reminding us of how much goodness he and our mother expected of us, that wherever we went whatever we did reflected on our family and on the name of our Creator.

      He would also remind us of some good thing we had done, for example, some exam we had passed with flying colours and only then would he speak to what we had done that was wrong.

      As a professional teacher–now long retired and still missing teaching and my students–I followed his example and used the same technique and blessing with my students who, while they were in my class and beyond were in addition to our blood children, my close social children, my children not of birth but of pedagogy.

      The other thing your inspired commentary brought to mind is the way in which the efficacy of prayer is either missunderstood, miss-applied or decried as nonsense and charlatanry.

      One individual with whom I grew in Morvant, someone who was not a close buddy nor member of our soccer team or drama club, after four decades of not seeing each other called me at home in the early morning.

      He indicated that he had followed my career and was able to obtain my phone contact during this crisis in his life. He was suicidal and, as he said, needed to speak to someone who he trusted and who he knew would not gossip about him.

      In my pajamas I left home to meet him. In the course of our counselling I offered to prayer with him. He objected, as a Marxist, he couldn’t acquiesce.

      ‘How,’ he said, ‘could any intelligent, educated, sophisticated individual believe in such mumbo jumbo? How could one speak to Someone he could not see nor hear’ etc.

      I gave him stunning examples of the efficacy of prayer in the lives of our own family. I also brought to his attention the ‘mumbo jumbo’ of also sitting in a room, away from the sight of each other and constructing to be sent via email, messages to which we expected responses.

      “Prayer,” I advised him, “is another form of wireless communication as was the internet.” A form that has existed from the Creation and of which we in our day have only discovered, and not created.

      Again, I appreciate your unabridged references to prayer and to its efficacy, blessings and power … and especially so to any individual who according to James, is ‘righteous’.

      To those who wonder about righteousness, let me say in conclusion, that we, in our own strength cannot be righteous. However, according to Matthew 5:6, ‘blessed are those who hunger and thirst after it’. In other words, the very act and fact, not of our possessing righteousness, but of our hungering and thirsting after righteousness, is itself the blessing of it.

      Shalom.

      • As a professional teacher–now long retired and still missing teaching and my students

        Neverdirty, you are still teaching, indeed ministering!

        Thank you for that insightful, reaffirming and personally encouraging message.

        ‘How,’ he said, ‘could any intelligent, educated, sophisticated individual believe in such mumbo jumbo?

        Your friend was a Marxist, and I was an engineer. But I too was atheistic, though I never went so far as to deny God or his existence. I just had a problem with Xtianity as we know it, and therefore dismissed the whole Bible. All that changed when I was called, much like Amos:

        Amos 7:14-15. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And Yahweh took me as I followed the flock, and Yahweh said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

        To all our atheistic brethren, like your Marxist friend, Yahweh wishes me to quote this:

        Malachi 3:1-3. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and Yahweh, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Yahweh of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto Yahweh an offering in righteousness.

        This of course speaks directly to the passage you quoted from James 5:16, and the power of the prayer of the righteous.

        Your friend was seeking Yahweh, but he didn’t know it. For all who seek Truth, in fact seek Yahweh. All who seek Justice, in fact seek Yahweh. And all who seek Peace, in fact seek Yahweh. All honest searchers of these things will end up with Yahweh.

        There are many searchers who however are snared by this or that ideology, e.g. Marxism, or the Science-ism of the day. Then their mind becomes a closed vault that Truth and Fact cannot penetrate. Only that which conforms with the world view they have acquired may penetrate their otherwise closed mind. That means, in effect that they are not honest seekers after Truth, or Justice, or Peace.

        Scripture is so simple that people don’t often appreciate how profound it is: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). What that is saying is that whatever ideology to which one for the moment may subscribe must be given a rigorous check using the criterion of truth. And if it is untrue, somewhere or other there will be a fatal flaw. And if one overlooks such fatal flaws, it must be that he is not committed to truth.

        By contrast, I challenge anyone to study — not just read, mind — the word of God, and not come away convinced of its searing and honest truth. “Is not my word like as a fire? saith Yahweh; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29).

        It certainly does not conform to man-made ideologies and vain imaginations, whether of humanism, Marxism, atheism, science-ism or other of the manifold -isms of the day.

        For example, it is taken for granted in “civilized” circles (nod here to cousin Linda) that there is something essentially wrong with “eye for an eye”. But when you study scripture, you come to understand what it is really saying, and it seems entirely just to me, in the light of a deeper understanding. Punishment must be proportional to crime, at a minimum. But more than that, Yahweh’s way is fair and equal. For example, as to reparations, Yahweh’s law insists that reparations *shall* be paid. Is that not fair and just? Moreover, Yahweh insists on payment in kind: “he who leadeth into captivity shall be led into captivity” (Revelation 13:10). That seems just and fair to me. Calling it “vengeful” is just the vain imagination of those who would rather get away with crime or sin, than do what is necessary to get right with Yahweh.

        If one is committed to Truth, and to Justice, and to Peace, the proper course is always to get right with Yahweh.

        And it is always a snare and a delusion to imagine that some man-made philosophy will serve us better than the clear precepts handed down to us by the Creator. “O Yahweh, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit” (Jeremiah 16:19).

        At any rate, we are now in the end-time spoken of in the Book of Yahweh (aka Holy Bible). Yahweh’s spirit is moving in the land. Some of us are hearkening to his voice. Those who are caught up in this or that vain ideology of the day will remain ensnared in this or that corresponding bramble bush. The solution is to seek knowledge over speculative man-made theory or ideology: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:6).

        And prayer is necessary, because prayer requires submission. And submission is the appropriate posture for any who would acquire Knowledge. Submission is also the posture necessary to coming into a state of righteousness.

        Be all that as it may, Scripture says that two-thirds of Yahweh’s children (the Israelites) will be cut off and die in the dreadful day of Yahweh (Zechariah 13:8). That is an interesting number to dwell upon: two-thirds is 66.6%. So two-thirds of us will remain caught up in this or that false-ideology bramble bush of the spawn of Satan, whose number as we all know is 666.

        All that to say thank you for your testimony, teaching, and indeed ministry.

        Shalom.

        • Yoruba Israelite, Shalom.

          “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

          To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

  • Rowley must Go! Lazy. Coming to think of it; Rowley could not contain his differences and by his public scandalizing open infighting caused our current Bantunnization. Now that he’s got his prize, he has failed us miserably. Rowley excuse was Patrick Manning, now that he is gone Rowley must go! Lets begin a genuine concerted effort if we are to restore the dignity of the African man in T&T. Rowley Must Go! Let us the people clean up and revamp the PNM, Rowley Must Go!

    • What was that prize that Rowley got ,Davy de Verteuil? Patrick Manning is gone? Ummmm Hmmmm, Davy, and I suggest , that you put down your Vat19 Rum bottle, that you and too many crazy PNM diehards, have been slurping on since loosing power. If you are so naive to believe that baseless utterance, then you deserve everything you get from this , none visionary , ultra reactionary pro Hindustani , neo tribal barbarian regime , that presently controls the fortunes of our country.
      Not saying that I am some big fan of the Dr. Rottwiler Wajang , as I viewed him in the same vain ,as another fraud in Ah we bouy ANR Robinson, who used his people ,for self aggrandizement , and only got five bullets in the knees , and not even a Commission of enquiry ,for his years of service to this backward , happy go lucky people ,that make up our country.
      I am yet prepared to work with him , since I think the past is what it is , yesterday. I have hope that he can come around to his true calling, before the result of the next election gives him a reality check, when it is again too late.

      http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/read/3941

      In the words of Davey,”Let us the people clean up and revamp the PNM, Rowley Must Go.” In short ,Uncle Rowley, you have no right to become leader of this twin island republic of ours ,as you were born in the wrong part of the country-but Queen K does-so why try?
      Do the right thing therefore , and attend to your real calling- liberating the folks of the island ward, that remained victims of economic neglect ,political abuse , social disrespect , and cultural rape. Your call.

      • O Neal! you’d rather a dictatorship that pleases you. Therefore all who wouldn’t see I2I with you is drinking. PNM is interwoven with our social fabric albeit National foundation and the only way to change this is a massive rejection liken to which dispersed NAR to dustbins of history. No party in the history of the nation have been decimated as NAR;So until then PNM is relevant. And for your dictatorial or lack of tolerance for others opinion-I have never been associated with any political party nor have I worked with any. Facts are facts and your obnoxious spite and my pragmatism couldn’t change that. The Truth is and it appears to be a global phenomenon;is that Trinidad & Tobago especially our politics – desperately needs a generational reset.

  • Once again you are applying foreign American constructs to interpret a situation in T&T.
    First of all, the deprevation of rights of which you speak affects all of the people in T&T. Secondly. The PNM is not exclusively a Black party. How would people like PNM legislators like Imbert, Deyalsingh and other non-blacks fit into your Black protest senario.The dismissal by Gibbs is not against Black people,but against the PNM political organization. If you make a case that the people of T&T should protest the State of Emergency, then you may be on solid ground.The problem is that some 78% of the population is in favor of the SoE.
    In any case, Rowley, the geologist, lacks the leadership ability and the acumen to follow this tide to good fortune.

    • Linda Edwards, class of '67

      Could TMan tell me where in Trinidad I can find “Trinidad Constructs”? I understand the Taino house in Cleaver Woods has been closed. Eerything else is imported.

  • It is no accident that Rowley has abandonned the Balisier tie. He realises that the era of race based political parties is over in T&T. He has to appeal to Indians in the same way that the UNC , after Panday, came to the realization that they would have difficulty gaining a majority.
    You American foreigners who are clamoring for Black power in T&T are misguided.Coalition politics is the future.The PNM base is shrinking according to the population stats.

  • T-Man said, “You American foreigners who are clamoring for Black power in T&T are misguided.Coalition politics is the future.The PNM base is shrinking according to the population stats.”
    Are you certain,that it’s not you ‘Canadian foreigners,’ who are suddenly striving to push Hindustani/ Islamist ego power mechanisms,’ in T&T,that really need to get a grip on socio- political realities , as it relate to your fractured/divided country?
    Listen my friend,since 1962 , there were close to 200 elections across our country, but only 3 were ever won with an East Indian politician at the helm.
    Since the only reason they won , was when the respective leaders,were prepared to ’embrace the other,’ via alliances/ coalition politics, then ,there must be something that some of your fellow citizens knew all along ,that you pompous, over excitable , politically naive creatures , are finally realizing, yes?
    Luv country .

  • I must give credit to TMan for adding what I regard as objectivity to this discussion. He has shown that he not only has the ability but foresight as well to look at issues without necessarily injecting a strict racial point of view. It is a fine article that Dr. Cudjoe has once again given us food for thought. While I agree with TMan that Dr. Cudjoe’s use of the slavery analogy might be slightly overplayed, in order to make important points it is necessary to emphasize and re-emphasive a point that needs to be uderstood contextually. And this is what Dr. Cudjoe is doing. The state of emergency is NOT just politics and should not be dealt with exclusively as just politics. Sometimes we in Trinidad appear to believe that laws are written for some and not the other. We tend to think that only the innocents must be protected and those we consider guilty must be persecuted (even without due process). Like most people, I believe that criminals must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but in so doing, the law must be exercised in a way to protect the rights of the accused until such time as the guilty verdict is lawfully proclaimed. It must be noted that the SOE that has been promulgated by this government is mostly for political reasons, so by the end of the year they can justly claim that the numbers coming out of the SOE experience is proof that their remedy was the right one. It is too bad that the SOE had to be used in this context, because there is a lot of social and societal contents that have so far arisen, ranging from judicial to criminal that deserves a serious look if we want to learn by our mistakes and correct them as we move forward. From my viewpoint, there is nothing about this exercise to be happy about because it has neither deterred the criminal elements nor has it enlightened the population to better governance. While there is an uneven burden on one community to prove their innocence there is also the blind-eye behaviour of the government to pursue justice when the big ships come in with their drugs cargo, the containers with illicit drugs is unclaimed even when the names of the addressees are prominent. This shows that the government is selective in its pursuit of justice and can only see the word “crime” emanating from the locations which they have projected. Dr. Cudjoe’s article makes this point and we should continue to speak about it and tell this government the way we see it.

    • “This shows that the government is selective in its pursuit of justice and can only see the word “crime” emanating from the locations which they have projected”.(KIAN)

      This is how it appears. Even the pitbull AG is showing lately that he is sensitive to this. Unless the Police (government) finds evidence to charge and convict the recepients of these containers, then critics like Cudjoe would be justified in making their accusations.

  • “I must give credit to TMan for adding what I regard as objectivity to this discussion. He has shown that he not only has the ability but foresight as well to look at issues without necessarily injecting a strict racial point of view.”
    Kian
    Tell me that you are kidding brotha kian, and or, being a bit generous to cuz T-Man, chief spokesman for dem over excitable blokes, of tribal nation? In essence, ‘playing dead to catch Cobeaux alive,’ as de wisest lady dat ever lived would say, yes? This man won’t even know objectivity ,much less appreciate the expression,’non racist foresight,’ even if they were to raise themselves , up from the ground , and hit him in the head.
    Yet these clueless creatures, are still attempting to figure out why their country remains the backward, under achieving, laughing stock of the entire Caribbean- resource ladened as it is.
    Tell me if you dare , which so called ,independent country , worth it’s salt , still have self serving , European white colonial masters, interpreting laws for them ,even while being the head quarters for over a respectable , regional Appeals Court,has a white,Euro Canadian , foreign , money grabbing Commissioner of Police , overseeing a neo racial , selectively focused state of emergency across half of their nation ,and , or worst yet, defend’s a one issue , female headed ,visionless government ,with absolutely no job plans, and where unfortunate ,poor, desperate ,women, and kids , are treated to the same revolting degree, as is done ,in some of the worst managed countries/ failed states , on earth , even with all the pretense of social progress?
    We wish our people well, and please remember kian, that ‘kumbaya mantras ,’ has it place , but please do not for heaven sake ,waste it , as you attempt to as it were, ‘cast pearls before swine,’ since it just ain’t worth it.
    Instead my friend,reach across the isle, to progressives , with a sense of patriotism, respect and love for the other , be it differing class ,race , gender, or geographical enclave of the country .By the way, just curious , but does T&T posses a business class, and do they have a role , outside of narrow profiteering, at the state’s expense?
    It is the first step towards nation building, some much wiser than ourselves believe.
    In addition, for all you know , the soubriquets trotted out ,of T-Man, Mammoo, mourougamax , and I’ll throw in Curtis-if memory serves me right-may all be the same thing- a fictitious voice , created by members of the power camp, playing a role, with one intention. AHHHHHH, now that brain of yours is working , as you guessed it …. keeping dem competitors at bay!

  • @T-MAN The PPP is not an Indian Party because it has a few blacks? How hypocritical can you be. The PNM has Indians and you constantly referrenced it as a black party.

    Regardless of how T-Man attempts to present a middle of the road position, all you have to do is to examine the hypocrisy in his defence of the PPP. Go back and look at his posts and see how many times he defines the PNM based on the ethnicity of its leader. Now he is arguing that the same standard should be applied to the PP. Give me a frigging break!!

    Doctor Cudjoe’s slavery analogy is not only sound and relevant, it accurately captures the mindset of the people who now run T&T. The slave slave masters of yore had black overseers and house attendants who they always presented as evidence of their so called kind Christian side. The “I have a black friend” rationale of T-MAN as regards the identity of the PP is just one more nugget of evidence of his deceitful predisposition.

  • The UNM is an Indian based party.
    The PNM is an African based party.
    The PP is a coalition of parties representing Trinbagonians of every race.
    I support the coalition and its leader because I am proud of my countrymen for forging this multiracial union. If as you suggest, Mr. Williams, that the coalition will seek the interest of Indians only, they will be defeated.
    Race based parties can no longer survive in T&T.
    By now, Mr. Williams, you must be tired of your “Indian deceit” and “congenital racist” theory. It serves no productive purpose to repeat it over and over. Looking forward to something new from you.
    Enjoy your day.

    • The PP is comprised of Indian Led Political Parties. How the the hell can it be a coalition of parties representing T&T of every Race?

      That is what I always say about you doggone racist whose views are so skewed by what is generational invested in your cultural understanding. 9 indians and two blacks amount to multi race, but 9 blacks and two indians do not. That backward and deceitful self serving rational is direcly in line with the reasoning of White Souther Racist and Apartheid South Africans.

      They say show me your friends and I can tell who you are. I say scrutinize T-Man’s view and you will have no doubt as to who he is. It has to be more than coincidence that every aspect of his reasoning and rationale can be found in that of people in other historical anti-black theatres. If he shares this with them, then he also must share the sentiments and emotions that condition them.

      • Two major entities contested the last election: the incumbent PNM, and a coalition called the People’s Partnership, comprising the UNC, COP, TOP (Tobago Organisation of the People), and two labour and non-governmental organisations:the National Joint Action Committee and the Movement for Social Justice, led by UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.[2] The People’s Partnership won 29 seats and the majority, with Kamla Persad-Bissessar being sworn in as the country’s first female Prime Minister on May 26, 2010. The PNM won the remaining 12 seats and comprises the opposition in parliament.

        • And if you counting the ethnic composition of the government, there are approx. 33 Ministers, 22 are of Indian descent and 11 are non-Indians. This is a much better balance than the composition of the previous PNM administration.

  • correction UNC

  • DANGEROUS SEDUCTIONS
    Amid An Enveloping Power Vacuum
    By SUNITY MAHARAJ

    These are dangerous times. A government too weak to govern under terms of a democracy has decided to govern on the borrowed strength of a State of Emergency. A people lost without leadership, grasping at straws, ready to hold on to anything, including the lull of a false calm.
    Forty one years ago, a government that had broken faith with the population turned its guns on the people and, thereafter kept the peace by the untouchable Randolph Burroughs, the charismatic leader of the Police Flying Squad who lived by the credo of ‘by any means necessary’.
    Twenty one years ago, another government that had lost its legitimacy after fracturing and expelling a key partner, precipitated this country into crisis by insisting on its electoral right to carry on. Into the yawning chasm of distrust between the government and the governed rode a former officer of the Mounted Branch now turned Imam, Yasin Abu Bakr, and his band of 114. For those who don’t remember, Bakr was the untouchable of the eighties, the bombast that everyone preferred to be on the right side of or nowhere around at all.

    He alone dared to do what so many wanted and urged but didn’t themselves dare to do: Move Robinson from power. Well, he did- and failed- because when he looked around, the multitudes were gone.
    Come 2011 and nothing has changed.
    The Partnership of 2010 has long fractured, papered over only by the smiling face of Kamla Persad-Bissessar in carefully structured, ethnically-sensitive photo-ops with strategic positioning for Tobago, the COP and whoever else as the situation warrants. Under the mask, the UNC is rampant. In government, its partners have all been brought to heel, reduced to begging for talks that never materialise. But while the leaders stay in the cabinet, claiming to be fighting for their people from inside, the people, like Longfellows’ Arabs, have silently folded their tents and are silently stealing away.
    From Tobago to Westmoorings to Point Fortin, the cry for representation is everywhere. With its partners reduced to impotence, the Persad-Bissessar administration is already a government without legitimacy. Across the parliamentary aisle sits an Opposition still naked from being exposed as too coward and too enamoured of power to stop a runaway zealot leader from taking us all over the cliff.
    And so, as it is wont to do in moments such as this, Trinidad throws up substitute leaders, colourful, charismatic, laws unto themselves. For now that person is TV host Ian Alleyne. A man already untouchable, perfectly in sync with the distressed masses and finely tuned to the wavelength of the country. While Bakr had to shoot his way into TTT in 1990, Alleyne is orchestrating his movement from the unenviable platform of the number one television station, Monday to Friday, 90 minutes at a bite. Unbridled and unstoppable. MP for the Masses. At least for now.
    And so it goes in this land where elections repeatedly fail to deliver representation.
    For those who harbour the hope that this State of Emergency might succeed in cleaning up the crime dens, cast your minds forward to the next general election and ask which party would be brave enough to attempt to win office without running the money into the hands of these very same denizens. In the absence of real politics and real engagement, bribery and patronage have become the stock in trade of our politics, creating in turn the power bases that run things from outside parliament.
    Ask yourself, too, how many of the gang leaders and ‘community leaders’ being hunted down today were in the pay of the parties in the 2010 election. The badder they were, the bigger the fee for organizing people, bringing out the crowds and getting out the vote on time. Pity the innocents living among them, cowering in fear but knowing that the murderous badjohns are protected by the big boys and girls in power.
    If we are victims of the criminal gangs, the gangs too are victims of the cynical politics that took root in the dawn of Independence almost fifty years ago. Overwhelmed with the challenge of transformation from colony to democracy, we opted for the quick-fix and the blind loyalist. The independent mind was declared a threat to political stability. The seeds of destruction now flowering blood-red in the hills of Laventille, Morvant and beyond were planted in a soil stripped bare of the ambitious independent tradesmen and women and the decent public servants who had spread out from the plantations and settled along the East-West Corridor, hoping to raise the next generation above the poverty line.
    These were the people who were washed away as the Prime Minister’s Special Works Projects sucked the life out of ambition and created new poles of power dependent on government money.
    After 1995, the henchmen spawned by Special Works were organized and harnessed into a sophisticated force under the laser focus of Sadiq Baksh. By then, no one really knew where the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen began and government ended. Certainly not Patrick Manning and his political babysitter Joan Yuille-Williams who had led the little boy by the hand in the art of real politics.
    Today, we reap the whirwind of the corruption of our political lives. Once, we had longed for freedom so that we might have the right to a say in our land; in our innocence, we handed that right to those we believed best represented us. But none, from Williams down, has been up to the challenge of representation. Under pressure, each has buckled and surrendered to the easy fix, using bribery where possible, coercion where not- and often with the full complicity of the professional classes, deluded as they are by the false protection of power, position and privilege. That is, until the heavy hand of arbitrary power rests on their shoulder, and then all hell breaks loose.
    Notwithstanding the very many good people with noble intentions that stood under its shade, there is no denying the truth that the Government of the People’s Partnership was born in bribery, an overnight arrangement crafted by a man willing to promise everything to people who were glad to get anything.
    How ironic that at the centre of the politics, there was no politics, if we are to take politics to mean something more than horse-trading. As flawed as it was, however, no one with an interest in this country could deny the sense of relief at having stopped the Manning bullet train. But it was clearly not going to be enough.
    The transformation of what Best called “a pick-up-side” into a coherent political force was quickly aborted; the prime minister’s cabinet took precedence over the political leadership of the alliance and with that one act, killed the possibility of graduating from bribery to something approximating representative politics with a reasonable prospect of tackling the core problems of the nation. Having dismissed the partnership and failed to institute a mechanism for rational policy-making based on shared and declared principles, the Persad-Bissessar administration has had no choice now but to govern by extempo.
    On Sunday August 21, panicked by the rising tide of disenchantment, as expressed by protesting trade unions and communities, and overwhelmed by blood-strewn front pages, the Prime Minister went into extempo mode and bungled us all into a State of Emergency. It was a bizarre piece of her theatre, delivered from her private home, her ministers crowded into the picture. Why she was not at the official residence in St Ann’s, and why CNMG had to jump several technical hoops to go live from south Trinidad at the expense of a full media presence remains unexplained. Genuine security fear or sheer paranoia? The mis-steps and mis-speaks that followed are now a matter of historical record, although, in time, even this government might figure out how to finesse the hand.
    Worrying indications, however, suggest that it is acquiring a dangerous taste for order imposed under the gun. For make no mistake, this is the sub-text of the Prime Minister’s repeated assertion that the State of Emergency has brought safety and peace to the land. In democratic countries, States of Emergency do not bring peace; they create space under specially-approved conditions for action designed, ultimately, to allow peace under democratic government that guarantees the rights and freedoms of all. The sublimal suggestion from the Persad-Bissessar administration that it can provide peace and safety only if the population gives up its rights, is a leap onto the road of totalitarian government at the rate of a galloping dictatorship.
    If the Prime Minister is appalled at this view of her actions, she should ask herself whether she ever expected to be ringing the emergency bell. Certainly not with all the solutions she assumed she had for dealing with the country’s crime problems. But where we are is exactly where extempoing will get us all as we stumble ever so innocently from one state of disaster to another.
    Perhaps, between the purple prose of her speechwriters and the siege mentality within the inner circle, a State of Emergency might seem an exercise in tough love from the ‘Mother of the Nation’.
    But the Prime Minister’s selection of Anand Ramlogan as spokesperson for the government suggested differently. Not even Karl Hudson-Phillips in the infamy of the Public Order Act was as brutal in language and as hardline in attitude as Ramlogan. Thrown on the defensive after repeated mis-steps, Ramlogan’s preference for bullying and threatening the population cut the ugly figure of the power drunk politician. Ultimately, however, he is nothing more than the iron fist in the Prime Minister’s velvet glove, seemingly happy to be the Chosen One, this time, as the convenient foil to the carefully crafted maternal image. Good cop/ bad cop, as was played out in the scenario involving the errant teenager of facebook fame.
    The gravest danger, however, is not Ramlogan, but the enveloping power vacuum as, once again, the population is failed by the entire political system. The signs are ominous. We have been this way before, We should therefore consider ourselves warned.

    • This article “Dangerous Seductions” by Sunita Maharaj, is really wonderful stuff of a fine-tuned mind aware of its surroundings. This, and an article in the Express by Sheila Rampersad in September, entitled “Short of the Mark” are among two of best analyses I have read about the State of the State and about how we got to that State and the delusions we apparently enjoy. These two articles should really be mandatory reading across the board.

      • Maybe it’s just me , and my sometimes impatience for some of my fellow Trini folks ,with their over emphasis , on de nonsensical intricacies of the day, ego massages , and almost idolization of a few.
        So unless we propose to learn , so as not to replicate the mistaken , idiotic policies , and behaviors of our past business and political leaders,pray explain , letjurydecide , why you think it is so important ,as to the reason why ” we got to that State and the delusions we apparently enjoy?
        Good articles , now what, short of submission of both names for the Pulitzer prize? Enough already! Let us know whwre you find merit in it, then proceed to critique where warranted, for please do not tell me that two entire articles can be written , and you can agree with everything ….. unless as I suspect … well , fill in the blanks letjurydecide.
        Nice sobriquet , one might add, and what’s your thoughts on getting rid of the neo imperial ,Privy Council, and finally empowering our regional Court of Appeal, that your tax dollars are helping to finance, while your leaders in government ,are deciding for their own twisted reasons, to keep your country out of – thus making us the laughing stock of the world?
        Believe me when I say ,it’s getting extremely difficult to still love my people and country , folks. Maybe national ingrate in chief , Uncle V.S Naipaul , aka de ‘ecstatic ,’Sheik -spear- hand,’ loquacious ,Trini Englishman,’ was correct , when he decided to abandon dem all , as a bunch of mimics,and tribalist , intellectual pions, destined to collectively remain, 4th class citizens, long into perpetuity.
        Nobelist sir or not, I ,for the record ,totally disagree with dat derogatory characterization,and renounce it , of course!
        Ahhh , but , seriously , it’s a beautiful day , even as folks across the globe , rise up to protest political injustices , as well as economic mismanagement, by business leaders, aka corporate thugs , but ,just wondering , what is taking place in Sweet , Sweet, T&T , aka Jambalaya / Callalo country? Anyone cares?

  • Unless otherwise mentioned we should judge our fellow bloggers by what they write and not who we think they are personally. TMan might carry many sobriquets but I judge him by the views he expreeses on any given topic and on this one I stand by my view that he expresseses his opinions with some degree of objectiveness and that is refreshing. It may be that way in all or most of his postings but in order to have a healthy conversation it is essential to engage in conversations that challenge our intellectual and imaginative senses. So, it is in this respect I believe his contributions are challenging and cognitive. Having said that, each day we continue to wonder about the wisdom of the voters in the last election. Lies are still the order of the day, truth is evasive and always on the run and the number of actors continue to grow. We are familiar with the PM (her royal highness), the AG (loudmouth and shooting from the hips) who is yet to determine what his portfolio is, sometimes you cant tell whether he is the police, a prosecutor, a defence lawyer or AG, but he continues to make a fool of himself. Then there is Jack, fore all the praises he gets for his hard work and accomplishments there is plenty of evidence that he is liar and not trustworthy enough to withstand the truth. Winston has always tried to convince us and himself that there is no money in the treasury yet he wnts to give us a budget with $7B to $8B in deficits while bribing us with yet another year of not collecting property taxes and therefore another year of revenue shortfall. What is Volney doing anyway? Moonilal? Thanks to a foolish Manning that he has quite a few houses to giveaway. Sharma? He thinbks his job is to contradict the judgement of mayors and councillors who are not members of his party. Devant Maharaj? He thinks he is running the Maha Saba as Transport minister. Gopeesingh? He too thinks all schools should be under the guidance of the Maha Saba. Rambachan? He forgot that Trinidad is part of the Caribbean where our presence should be pre-eminent but he thinks we are an outpost of India with Guyana as a sister isle. Here is a group who would rather silence the Opposition rather than hear what they have to say. So far every prediction that Rowley has made about their lack of proper decision making have come true. The zillions of mistakes (mis-steps) they make is mind boggling. The Opposition is part of the government and they should never try to stifle their freedom to meet with their constituents. And yes, oh yes, the latest actor is the Police Commissioner, prior to his arrival I always thought that having a white foreigner as Commissioner of Police was the best recipe for effective policing, but what I see in Gibbs is a policeman who is as good as Kamla as a politician. He is more of a politician than police and that is not good for correcting all the ills of the police service.

    • Linda Edwards, class of '67

      Kian my dear,I appreciate your objectivity. Now, my take on the last election. We are a nation of haters. Hate for Manning was engendered by his building that Palace at LA FAntasie, which the people were led to believe was going to be his own house forever, since he was trying, according to the opposition, to be Prime Minister cum President for life.I was in TnT a month before the elections, and I told some PNM friends that unless there was a drastic change in direction, the PNM would lose. Do you know what some of those diehards said. Let him lose, it good for him, he doesn’t listen to anybody but himself There were pictures circulating abroad about “Manning’s New House” I got the same ones from someone else, about how grandly the Middle East oil barons live. If its one thing we seem to hate is someone living it up, on our dime.
      That animosity to the residence was transferred to every other aspect of TnT’s life, and the I Cyar Vote for That, was such a catchy tune, that people voted for that. I said befoe the elections, that an anti-MAnning election was not a manifesto, and I have been proved right.

      We had a story out during the Panday administration, that Manning was about to lose his house in Sando, because of failure to pay the mortgage. That he would turn around, defeat Panday and build for posterity a grand new PM ‘s residence, that is a credit to how we see our people, made blood boil on all sides.
      Remember Kamla’s swearing she would never live in that house? How swiftly she changed her mind. That too was part of the lie the people voted for. Now they have another three years at least to kicjk themselves in the butt- an impossible task, really.

  • Kian said, “We should judge our fellow bloggers by what they write..” Well, well, talk about highlighting the obvious , buddy! I thought this was what we were all doing kian,for what other yardstick do we have at our disposal to make assessments,my friend?
    I for one ,don’t give a hoot about T- Man’s personality,or wish to be invited home to his suburban castle,to drink his maple leaf syrup laced Canadian teas, and finger licking cream puffs, pumpkin pies,do you?
    Tell you what however , as a fellow cyber jousting , chess player myself,I can appreciate what you might be doing,as far as extending some cyber luv, to our good friend cuz T-Man, but don’t get carried away ,/ lulled into any state of complacency ,as he is perhaps ,one of the most craftiest of drivers , on dis here, information highway ,with just as much skills in chess playing himself, and if not careful of your King, and … well,.. fill in de blanks.
    Seriously though ,I would continue to engage , and respect fellow bloggers starting with T-Man, ,who not only can reciprocate the respect in equal fashion, but who I also sense , loves their -hopefully still -democratic country ,and can find ways to display/ enhance it , without distorting our collective people’s history,and record, by reading lines , and destructive set plays ,as fostered along some divide and rule, fake superior class , carry over , continuum ,by diabolical imperial Massa,or clueless, early settlers,decades ago.
    With respect to critical , relevant issues of the day ,I will treasure folks ,that can show an appreciation for balance opinions, has a sense of empathy for the weak, historically maligned, and powerless in our midst , and is willing to shine the necessary light ,into any darkened / conceal corners,for common long term , national good. If T- man or anyone else fit’s that mole, then good for them.
    As a political animal myself that has traverse the globe , who began learning my craft ,right here in Sweet , Sweet T&T ,aka Jambalaya / Calaloo Country, and did not have to await foreign gurus from the University of Toronto, NYU, or London School of Economic to enlighten me , I remembered three basic truisms,that carried me through the decades, and here they are ,with a bit of paraphrasing : 1. Politics is the art of compromise. 2. Politics is simply, competition between forces, over varying needs/ wants,while it’s proponents / practitioners, prudently ,using whatever means possible, to advance towards that desired goal. 3. Politics is everything. Be it an Opposition Party ,getting the right to carry on a harmless march, within one of it’s constituencies , like was done over the past two decades, or if a tribe of people has the right to abuse their wives, attempt suicides, and murders of their kids, and face no negative stigmas, or criminal consequences, like others without means , indulging in inconsequential , victimless crimes , across our nation do.
    Now, here is what we can all agree on cuz kain , and it’s that there is more than enough of the T&T economic pie ,for all 1.3 million and growing of our toss salad, hodgepodge collection of people ,to share, be they , black , white , brown , yellow , red folks, Jews , Gentiles ,Hindus,Muslims,Buddhist,Christian, Atheist, Orisha Baptist, recently arrived immigrants, or 2nd / 5rd th generation Trini. The fundamental reality remains ,that our national , and personal interest, are inextricably linked together,or put differently , we sink or float together.
    That ghastly ,business as usual idiocy, that is the T&T norm , cannot continue unabated, by lifetime economic bandits, and political mongrels, with narrow ,dangerous , prescribed agendas- whether they only assumed power 2 years ago ,in land slide victories, or previously controlled ,the political fortunes ,in 40, out of our 49 years of independence-for if they do, we all stand to loose, yes?
    Otra Vez, if you suspect that T- Man ,and similar others ,share that mindset , and wish to see our country evolve ,along the true part of sustainable development ,and doable ideals ,of United Nations Millennium goals , then give me a holler, as we are all on the same page.
    Luv country , over tribe, and special class.

  • Hi Neal! (high fives) ……… You said it all. This blog would not be interesting if we all beloieved the same thing. Some of us have a lot in common and some dont, some of us are of the same political and social pursuasion and some are completely opposite, this is what makes for interesting reading and this by far the best blog in T&T. You guys make it happen and I’m thankful for that because I look forward to getting my dailoy fill of political intrigue on this here cyber space.

  • Kian said , “You guys make it happen and I’m thankful for that because I look forward to getting my dailoy fill of political intrigue on this here cyber space.”
    Ummmmmm, hummmm!So in essence , as I suspected all along , cuz kian , and many like him are saying by that revealing commentary , that to them ,this is merely an escapist , amusing exercise , that they choose to occasionally indulge in, but that , in his case, he really cares absolutely nothing about the country , and people he profess to love.
    I am reading you loud ,and clear my friend.Surprise , surprise , that you are an ardent fan of fake national enthusiast T-Man, ehhh T-Man , ah mean kian?
    Got you there, don’t I?
    Yet some folks are confuse as to why a desperately poor country such as Jamaica, or resourceless island like Barbados , a mere 12 miles bigger than Tobago -my land of birth -are viewed with greater respect , as emerging leaders regionally, while T&T , remains a economically fractured , borderline backward ,social dung heap , due in great measure to saturation of clueless , psychologically confused Trinis , more concerned with idle boast as to how much European blood they have running through their veins,5 acres of useless land holding they possess , and if they can afford another costume for de upcoming carnival.
    How can one save one’s people from this utter stupidity? Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Hold on my brothers ,and sisters- you know who you are. De historically abused ,politically ignored , economically neglected folks that were forced to be a part of this disgusting , social calamity, long before de Flora devastations of 1962.
    Ain’t dis straight out of a John Agitation ,Sprangalang , or Tommy Joseph comedic talking point folks , so funny it is?
    On a more serious note folks, ah just wonder what cuz kian really assumed, might be we Trinis “opposite political persuasions,” since he made some veil reference to “the same? ” Just saying , maybe 25 years abroad just ain’t long enough to grasp which way is up anymore, but you guys got to keep abreast of T&T neo tribal , dog eat dog ,realities buddy, and lay of the Toronto Globe , Mail, and Sun news analysis,or worst yet CBC Toronto , talk show , about pending dreary winters , and frozen St Lawrence River / failing ice hockey teams to beat anyone across the border, as it is tainting your thinkings.
    Speaking of which , I see dat ‘you alls’ are following Big cousin America’s lead , and protesting something , out side of who make better Maple syrup, or pretending to be more loving to foreign immigrants , that deep down inside are despised.
    Just kidding kian .Don’t wish to burst your pristine Canadian halo.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/10/15/toronto-occupy-toronto.html

    Lord, how I like Uncle V.S Nipaul , aka ‘de one time Chaguanas Trini ,turned Neo British, Sheik-Spear-Hand Nobelist,’I too, am starting to acquire a a sense of revulsion towards dis country,and it’s myriad of mimmic -like people, ehhhh Kian, you too?
    One of my happiest days would be to see dis Edmonton security impostor , masquerading as a Commissioner ,pack his doggy bag and return to Alberta to Superintend de provinces. Ah de crazy Canadian mobs! Dey could do with a state of emergency , ehhh?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ7YwVUVg6U

  • I would challenge anyone to go back and read T-Man’s post before the PP won the last election. It is that juxtapositioning that demonstrate the craftily double standard nature of his positions. PNM does something it is racist and corrupt. PP does something it is democratic and fair and balanced.

    I have been studying people like T-Man for more than 20 years. The views they express and the positions they take differ from what we were reading 25 years ago in South Africa, and even today in the US, only by geography. To ignore that symbiosis is to delude oneself into believing that the solidity of the droppings from the cow seen on the pavement on a hot day in T&T can be determined from its hardened facade like exterior. However, step on it and your feet descend into mushy nastiness.

    Similarily, when you examine the nuances and inferrences of T-Man’s posts you discover that its exterior is a facade, and its interior is mushy odious hypocrisy and double standards. The fact that he bald facedly continue with this practise again is typical of an inherrent enculturation that has become automatic, spontaneous, and maybe even irreversible. He does not believe that memory of his past comments will be recalled and juxtapositioned against the present.

    The terms of reconciliation for people like this is based on their comfort of “being pon tap” so to speak. That is the paradigm to which the T-Man’s of our beloved Republic has always been committed. I refuse to sing Kumbaya under the command of an ethnic maestro. This is not a new ploy. It is the metaphorical equivalent of “the wicked who carried us away into captivity requiring of us a song”. And our response has to always be, also in a metaphoical context, “yeah, so how can we sing the Lords song in a strange and hostile political environment”.

  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    As an African woman, I am suspicious of ANYONE posting who does not stand in his or her own name. Although there may be many Kieth Williams, he says who he is. We are not yet a terrorist state where posting something could get you fired or killed. It well may be that some of the bloggers are the same person, playing good cop bad cop and talking out of various sides of their mouth, tacking with the winds of political fortune as they percieve it.

  • The message is all that matters Madame L. Just like talk radio did in your USA, this is one of the few privileges ,one can indulge in ,via dis here social media / info highway driving.
    Some would say you should enjoy de ride,just ‘pick sense out of nonsense,’ where you can , and ‘put in your own two cents,’where appropriate , and let the chips fall.
    Now let’s say you were prepared to help a few of us fellow progressives ,to form our own media forum ,to help enlighten others across our country ,the region, and wider global community , guess what ?
    We could then ,dictate our own criteria , for getting on , and future communications by prospective bloggers , yes? Your call!
    For de record , I have a Canadian Trini, ready set up a website. Ahhhhhh yes, I know , you are very busy working on the Huston High School Commission, and trying to see if your fledging , hot behind de ears ,Texas governor Perry, can beat his Mormon frontrunner rival Romney ,for the right to go ‘manao o mano ,’ with Uncle O , come November 2012.
    Speaking of which, don’t we wish that his most fervent fan – at one time IE- a la ,Her Majesty Queen K, had a Trini electorate, public, and opposition, that would hold her hands ,to the fire , as the’po Uncle O ,’ is experiencing left right and center , in these United States ? Such a tragedy, hmmm?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4M4uBdrI_s&feature=related

    Then , what can one expect, when T&T, remain an immature , 3rd world political peon, simply conflicted by two racially obsessed, and or ethnically confused collections? We wish dem well ,yes?

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