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If Thy Right Hand Offend Thee...
Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2007

By Michael De Gale
July 04, 2007

I am not a man given to violence nor am I the fanatical follower of any particular religion which advocate cutting off the hands of thieves. However, the more I learn about what appears to be endemic corruption in T&T, massive budget overruns and the widespread breach of public trust, the more I am convinced that there is some merit to this form of punishment. Without appearing to break bread with what some may consider barbarians, I could willingly support the law which states that, "If the right hand offend you, cut it off". Not to punish poor people who steal to feed hungry children in the cornucopia that is T&T. Not even as punishment for the drug or chemically addicted who are compelled to steal to feed the insatiable cravings of the monkeys on their backs. Such people are desperately in need of professional help and social intervention.

The thieves I despise most are not the ones who steal bread to abate hunger, but rather those "good citizens" of despicable moral fiber, who steal so that their cups could runneth over. I refer here to corrupt politicians, holders of public office, dishonest contractors and birds of similar feather, who feels no compunction when pilfering from the public purse and does so with impunity.

This country did not become independent from Britain so that we could trade one bunch of thieves for another. This den of thieves both native born and foreign, should not be free to feather their beds from the public purse and have their crimes go unpunished.

We have been blessed with resources and a window of opportunity to build a model nation in the Caribbean; a nation that could rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of colonialism. Instead, we are saddled with thieves and brigands of all stripes devoid of even a molecule of national pride. Those who will fill their pockets and funnel excess into foreign economies are not people but parasites and should be dealt with accordingly.

A corporate building of blue plate glass rises above 25 stories and stands majestically on the Canadian landscape. This impressive structure casts a long shadow in the evening sun and can be seen from many miles. I've heard it said that this building was funded with money that was stolen from T&T by a politician who took refuge in Panama. Every time I pass, I wonder how many more of these buildings are dotting skylines across the globe, paid for with T&T petro-dollars and benefiting everyone except those from whom the money was stolen. The thought makes me sick to my stomach.

It is for this group of thieves that I reserve the sword. These shameless bastards, dishonest scoundrels posing as upstanding citizens, do more to undermine the country than the criminals who grace the daily news and strike fear in the hearts of law abiding citizens. As notorious as the latter are, the insidious "good citizens" who steal from the public are a malignant cancer in the society. Chopping off the hands of these "white collar" crooks, will do much to send this cancer into remission. For it is written that, "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off," and indeed, I am offended.

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