Sep 19, 2008

Denial of the Dengue Outbreak in Trinidad... Fire Jerry Narace!

Private nursing home in Sando: 119 tested positive for dengue!

The Nile is a majestic river on the continent of Africa but in the small island of Trinidad denial is the river of shame that flows from the offices of the Ministry of Health with party organizer Jerry Narace pretending to be the “honorable minister of disgrace”. Why is this man still at the helm of the Ministry of Health?
Narace has denied that there is a Dengue outbreak in the county yet still people are getting sick and some are dying. The Minister of party organization aka Minister of Health has denied that there is a problem. Why are private nursing homes reporting such high incidences of dengue infection? Please read the article posted on the online edition of the Guardian newspaper here.
Denial is the the modus operandi of this brazen individual. He has chosen to address the problem with lots of talk and no action. We should not be in such a situation now that the tresuary is overflowing with petro dollars. The Minister should have a nationwide campaign in effect to keep these insects on retreat. Spraying and fogging of the area(s) most susceptible to dengue mosquitoes should be the priority at this time. Those whom are sick should not be lied to and left to become a statistic because of his incompetitence.
What a shame, these politicians continue to play games while the people continue to suffer. In the end we are back to the very reason the politician is in office with the people having to take the blame because of the "who we go put" nonsense.
We are in for a rough ride and can only hope that the opposition forces can agree to disagree and forge ahead to a new political union for the betterment of the country/

Sep 9, 2008

Just trying something - Health Conscious

I don't know if anything will work but since I have not been feeling great I decided to follow some of the advice given by the Aloe Man.
All right so I don't have the GAP pills readily available but I do understand that it is a blend of Garlic, Parsley and Aloe. So I did the next best thing. I bought the garlic parsley capsules and the Aloe Vera stalk. I drink the aloe juice and take the garlic parsley capsule. I also purchased a drink from COSTCO that has a blend of 40 fruits and vegetables (Drinkables Fruits and Vegetable blend).

Now that is a good start.

Next I purchased (received today) one bottle each (32 oz) of Camu-Camu juice, Mangosteen, Acai and Goji. Hey I am going for broke - I might be broke before I feel any health benefits from these purchases.

Ok to support this health drive I am eating smaller portions of food and I am trying hard to limit red meats and increase my fish portions (I like salmon a lot). The veggie thing is hard to keep up with but I am trying.
Exercise - I got to make use of my New York Sports Club membership - can't be making excuses about the lower back pain. Hey maybe a better excuse is to say that I really have to help my wife with the triplets (3 years old). Wait one minute now that is the truth but the only thing is my wife makes sure that I am involved 100% - it is all good!
But the problem is hamburgers taste so good. OK, maybe I will get into the turkey and salmon burgers and stay away from processed foods especially white flour products (oh gosh dhal pouri and buss up shot that is too much of a big sacrifice to make) - this is too much.
I will make an effort to stay away from sodas, cakes and processed sugar products. I purchased 100 packs of Stevia to put in my tea (it got good reviews).
Ok I am going to give it a try - I am a little more health conscious (if not healthy) thanks to the GAP Man/Aloe Man and the programming on WACK radio 90.1 FM.

Sep 7, 2008

Things that make you go, "Hmm"

I really feel good knowing that our country has stepped up to the plate to assist our neighbors in the Caribbean affected by the anger and might of hurricanes recently. Great!I am not pleased that we are not doing the same for those whom are in need at home. The money allocated for those recently affected by floods at home is miniscule compared to the aide sent to our neighbors.
We are feting our Olympic athletes for four days to the tune of $********* questionable amounts – a few Millions maybe?
Really, Rice is produced in commercial quantities inTrinidad?
High food prices are the norm in Trinidad and Tobago and now we learn that the Rice farmers with crops that are maturing and would soon be ready for harvesting are in a quandary and are left wondering if their rice would be worth anything. The National Flour Mills has put up for sale the only milling factory on the Island. There is no guarantee that they would purchase the rice paddy for processing. If in fact the factory is sold there is no guarantee that the new owner would purchase the current crop at the established rates. During this entire ‘looming crisis’ nothing has been heard from the Ministry of Agriculture. Now how much rice are we talking about here? You would be surprised to learn that the quantity is in the vicinity of ten million pounds that’s correct 10,000,000 pounds of rice. Did you know that we produced this amount of rice annually?
Here is a quote from the Trinidad Guardian Newspaper:“From October 1 to December 1, approximately 4,000 acres of mature rice (10,000,000 pounds) at Felicity, Caroni, Campo, Bejucal, Plum Mitan and several areas in South would be reaped.”
The article is entitled "Floods of paddy" – make an effort and read the article. This is an amazing story it seems that when the Government dismantled Caroni limited they really intend not to produce any food but the buy everything. The farms are just promises and nothing has been planted, reaped or sold with the exception of all the promises made by the Manning administration.

Only in Trinidad my friends – Silly season is open!

Wack Radio 90.1 FM - well done Culture Krazy Champions of TNT!

It has been said that faith can move mountains and for some reason I felt the weight of "Wackos" around the World weighing heavily on my spirit … it was a day where I found myself in a sink or swim situation – I chose to swim! Indeed it can be a challenge to stay afloat with so many nay Sayers waiting for the moment that you capitulate and admit that you were wrong about something. Then again you can be someone who simply stands on the sideline and claim ignorance because you came for the game not to support either team in the field of play. Well here I am in a position where several persons expect me to state my position and come clean regarding the WACK radio Independence Day music marathon. Let me say this, it was a glorious recognition of 46 years of independence with an abundance of local music to support their claim of being the champions of our musical culture on air. What do you think? Did they live up to your expectations? Well here is my take…
Culture Krazy:
Yes, yes and yes! There is no competition at home or abroad when it comes to playing the music of Trinidad and Tobago – no competition in sight or that can be heard at home or over the internet. Granted there are sites that have lists of local music for sampling and to be played on demand – indeed there are but there is no station or media house that plays the variety of music that WACK radio 90.1 fm broadcasts on a daily basis.
Now yesterday was quite different and to be honest I did not expect such an organized and well presented programming that was presented as a gift to our now middle aged nation. It all started with Ebony and Amber and concluded with Dr. the Right Honorable David Matthews. However, the surprise presenter of the day, none other than Kenny Phillips the aging captain of the WACK presentation of chune after chune after chune who came on and hit the mark. So how did Kenny do this? Well my friend Sharon aka South Trini insisted that I let everyone know that “Kenny was the man yesterday”. Damion would say that all that I am doing is sucking up to Kenny. If that is the case I have to ask, “Why? None of that matters but the fact that Kenny really dug deep and brought back memories of elementary school says a lot for the job that he did. The ladies did a great job and the middle of the show simply kept the championship flag flying high. David (I have to take the word of others here now) did a great job. I can say he had the toughest assignment because a song could only be played one time and if he did as good as I am told he deserves kudos for a job well done.
Pet Peeve:
Ok my pet peeve with WACK radio is that they don’t really live up to the Culture Krazy claim that they boast about. Well I have to admit for one day they came a long way. What is my complaint? Not enough Chutney selections but then again there are many other genres that don’t get equal play or fair play when compared to Calypso and Soca. Indeed Rapso and Folk music aficionados can complain likewise. I have always said to Kenny Phillips that we play everything and even though Pan has its segments on the weekend the tracks that Kenny played during his segment cries out for more steel pan music. So really, what about my pet peeve?
Wikipedia states: “At the same time, chutney became a massive force in Trinidadian music, arising from the island's Indian population. It has now become 'mainstream' across the islands and elsewhere in the Caribbean, and has spawned its own subgenres, including ragga chutney, chutney-hip hop. Soca-bhangragga and chutney-bhangra. The article also went on to talk more about Chutney Soca and dhut-kai-pang (ie chutney, Parang and Calypso mixed with Venezuelan-derived rhythms.
Indeed there was Pickacharee and Chutney more so than is usually played on the station on any given day – let’s see how this unfolds in the days ahead. Was it a one day appeasement or part of change to come – only time will tell!
Diverse = many and different. Simple enough… “Celebrating our diversity Wack style” Right back at you Kenny and that also brings to mind the lack of play of many genres on a “regular basis” not just when a holiday comes along.
Indeed we are as diverse in our tastes as we are cosmopolitan in our makeup but don’t you dare claim to be culture crazy and not include the total fabric of the society. Indeed your financial success may hinge on the demographic that you subscribe to but then again you may need several knocks on your balding head to understand that some change is indeed good.
So what really in the verdict?
Ok I must admit that the station did an excellent job yesterday ... kudos to everyone concerned. Do I need to take a chill pill? Maybe but then again I am not the type of person to sit idly by on the sidelines and watch the show go on. Am I to be labeled the devil’s advocate at all times … hell no for Jesus’ sake (father forgive meh)! Most of the persons who dislike my take on things have nothing to contribute and continually slap the Fannies of the WACK brass for a job well done. Ok that’s ok, but one must realize that the product can always be tweaked and fine tuned to reflect a new vision for the musical culture of our country. Should we simply sit on our laurels and brag and boast about our gifts to the World … pay attention to Machel and his approach to the art form - he collaborates with other artistes and innovates his musical concepts moving Soca into the mainstream that even Hot 97 in NYC plays his music - so change is good. The people at Billboard magazine have taken notice and are beginning to track his efforts.
So my friends keep at the staff at Wack and give credit when credit is due but also give them a sense of where they are at and where they could and should be heading. You may be right or dead wrong but no one can blame you for trying.
So let me conclude by saying congratulations to Mr. Kenny Phillips and his staff on a job well done. Culture Krazy champions with no other station in second or third place. They are that good at that which they do – promote the music of Trinidad and Tobago as no one else can. Congratulations to the management and staff!

May 8, 2008

What is your favorite radio station streaming via the WWW from Trinbago?

In your estimation, what is the best radio station streaming service from Trinidad and Tobago via the World Wide Web? Just keep in mind that there are more than thirty stations at home with just about 20 streaming service via the World Wide Web - there is much to choose from with every taste satisfied!
Of course every station caters to a difference audience and some have a mix that just may appeal to your highly sensitive listening preferences. Some may choose a station because of the amount of local content played; others may gravitate to a station because of the topics discussed as is the case with many of the talk radio services provided.
Again others may be drawn to a station because it plays the music of a subculture of our very cosmopolitan society. What ever drives you to listen a station may make it your favorite but that does not mean that a certain station can be deemed the best or the most commercially successful in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago? How can we determine that is very speculative at best.
Just keep in mind that most of the stations streaming their service on the World Wide Web may only have a community license and may not be able to cover the entire Island with their signal. That means that some people may have heard of a particular station at home but may not be able to tune in to the frequency (Trinidad and Tobago). The internet gives these stations an equal base to start - and equal playing field where the advertising revenue has not been a factor to date. As a matter of fact most of the businesses and radio stations (at home) have not figured a way to capitalize on this aspect of programming to date. Some have provided Web sites that sell items but haven't really earned advertising dollars from the programming as it relates to the international community.
This question that is asked here is geared towards people listening to the stations via the World Wide Web. In this case people will listen to the station simply because of the format provided and maybe because they want to hold on to something relating to the homeland – music, news, talk, politics or simply to keep in step with that which is going on at home.

Some people listening via the web live in communities where there are not many Trinidadians to interact with during the course of the day and to come home and listen to a familiar voice or Trini English can be a very relaxing experience. Whatever your reasons are just leave a comment saying which station that you enjoy listening too – just the station and a short note why you love listening to the station.
Support your station – let’s see which is the most listened to station on the World Wide Web streaming service from Trinidad and Tobago.
Oh here are my favorites:
Talkcity 91.1 FM (Great Talk, Community information, Tips for living, local music)

Wack 90.1 FM (Soca, Calypso and other local music genres)

Masala 101.1 FM (Chutney, Soca, World Beat)

May 2, 2008

Mas in May - All Roads lead to Point Fortin!

Last night the Point Fortin Borough celebrations (28th. year as a Borough) continued with the presentation of a host of calypsonians who entertained the people past midnight - it was like Dimanche Gras night. It felt like the run up to Carnival with Talk City 91.1 FM and Wack 90.1 FM streaming the show 'live' (as it happens) via the World Wide Web.

Carnival out of season is the really what this celebration has morphed into. In a sense it has taken a life of its own and seems to be getting bigger and better ever year. Now don’t expect to go to Point Fortin and expect to see Carnival Tuesday on display – eh eh, it is not like that. Instead you will see Carnival in it raw and unfettered form. We are talking about a J’ouvert style of Carnival with mud mass, revelry, pan on the road, rhythm sections (can you handle ah good hub?), and people like ants simply ‘liming and having ah time’.

Now noting that I mentioned that it is Carnival in its purest form this does not mean that there isn’t a major financial boom that obviously plays into the scenario. Yes it is also becoming a money generator. Band are forming with a simple colorful tee shirt with the name of the sponsor of the ban on it and some ‘war paint’ and short shorts for the girls ranging in prices upwards TT$300.00 – I guess it is the price of progress and it you want to brag that you played with so and so then you have to fork out some dollars for the memories. The Borough has organized many shows and there are even boat rides (more like fete rides) to capitalize on festive nature Trinis at play. The food vendors will also get an opportunity to earn some extra dollars during the celebrations. It would be interesting to get the report on the amount of extra money that is pumped into the Borough because of this Mini Carnival that is disguised as a celebration of the Borough becoming a Borough.

People living overseas have made plans to travel to Trinidad for the celebration months in advance. Many are at home already. Many whom were unable to attend the National Carnival celebrations earlier this year now feel like their Carnival vibe is fulfilled with the continuing celebration bringing the same feel of the National celebration.

Yes, indeed it is bacchanal this weekend with people pressure mad, mad, and mad; pressure and pleasure in musical madness and ecstasy in dance on the streets of Point Fortin. If you are unable to attend the festivities at least one can follow the festivities on Talk City and WACK radio. Log on to one of the streams and delve into the madness. Wack radio is presenting a J’ouvert ‘band’ that would be the place that most of the Shout Box (lacouray chat on the website) visitors would be parading and getting on bad to the music provided by the station’s DJ’s.

Yes, once again, it is celebration time and all roads lead to Point – Point Fortin to be exact. So make it a point to get to Point this weekend because it is Mass is May – 'dis is madness oui boi!'

Apr 25, 2008

PM caught with his pants down - The Rowley Affair!

The Prime Minister stated that Dr. Keith Rowley was fired for Hooligan behavior exhibited at a Cabinet meeting. He went on to state that Cabinet was aware of the plan to include a 60 room Hotel at the site of the Performing Arts Center since last year. He even produced a document showing that the Hotel was part and parcel of the Center and that Dr. Rowley should have known about these plans. Well the PM was literally caught with his pants down. The following paragraph was taken from; please read.
“The Prime Minister further rejected Rowley's claim of questionable financial dealings at UDECOTT and said that the state-owned company is being run quite efficiently. Manning said that cabinet had knowledge of this hotel since last year. He proceeded to show a plan and point out the area on it for the hotel of sixty rooms. Manning said the hotel was not put in surreptitiously by anybody; it was always part of the design. Manning further said that they had articulated to the public at some time that the Academy of the Performing Arts in Port of Spain had comprised a sixty room hotel.”
Ok now that you have read the paragraph please note that the original plans for the performing arts center submitted and approved by Town and Country planning never had a 60 room hotel as part of the plan. As a matter of fact no subsequent additional plans were ever submitted to Town and Country regarding the inclusion of a 60 room hotel for the Performing Arts Center. Please read the following paragraph also taken from the Trinicenter article.
“TV6 later showed an official document that showed the hotel was not part of the plan for the Academy of the Performing Arts. Former NAR government minister Eden Shand showed documents that contradicted what Manning said. Shand said, "Last night I heard the news about a sixty room hotel, and I know the process in this country through which you can do that. The process was town and country planning approval; you can check with them if you have that, and certificate of environmental clearance. I went this morning to see whether in fact the sixty room hotel was part of the clearance. It is not."
Now we have these facts and as a result we now know that Dr. Rowley was speaking the truth regarding the inclusion of the hotel and that PM Manning was only providing information to mislead. The reasons given by the Prime Minister for firing Dr. Rowley looks very unfavorable on the part of the Prime Minister’s office and smells of impropriety at this time.

Apr 24, 2008

Trade Minister, Dr. Keith Rowely, Fired!

Today’s report in the newspaper informed that Dr. Keith Rowley was "fired" from the post of Trade Minister. Another of the ‘old guard’ is gone. If indeed this firing has anything to do with his disapproval of the construction of the proposed 60 room hotel (and other problems associated with UDECOTT and their power to act Carte blanche on projects) then the Prime Minister needs to face the nation and explain his actions.
Another hotel in a capital city that just put in place the Hyatt - do we really need another hotel? If this hotel was proposed for Tobago then I am certain Dr. Rowley would not have complained because Tobago is a destination for tourists and the added rooms would be welcomed.
Dr. Rowley who has been a member of the PNM for over 27 years and is considered to be one of the PNM’s strongest platform speaker, as reported in today’s Guardian newspaper also angered Mr. Manning when he challenged him (Manning) for the leadership of the party. I am sure the Prime Minister kept that memory and may have considered Dr. Rowley someone who could not be trusted and not a “true team player” –who knows?
The Prime Minister has accused Dr. Rowley of misconduct during a cabinet subcommittee meeting and advised him that his Ministerial position would be revoked. Did you get that? He was not warned and this action seems to have been on the agenda plate of the Prime Minister. Just take a look and one will see that anyone with any backbone, intelligence and more importantly experience has been or is in the process of being swept away. Has anyone taken notice of the manner in which the Prime Minister addresses the nation? He speaks as if he is a preacher delivering a sermon. The liturgy always ends with the common understanding that the PNM is in control and all will be well - just hold on! Yea right, in the mean time prices are escalating and the travesty of closing Caroni limited in now shining brightly.
Mr. Manning was not surprised by the actions of UDECOTT to construct a 60-room hotel on the Princess Building Grounds in Port-of-Spain as part of a performance arts academy, which is currently under construction.,77559.html Dr. Rowley had the interests of the public purse as the foundation of his action to protest and for this he was fired.
People of Trinidad and Tobago, is this why you voted the PNM into office? When you are told that the high price of food is a result of that which is happening in the World food markets don't be fooled. That is partially true but the main reason for the problem at home is that we did not plan to feed our selves - agriculture was a side issue.
So now that Dr. Rowley has paid the price because he attempted to protect your public purse, what do you think that you should do? Maybe everyone should start by letting the representatives know that you are dissatisfied with the current status quo in the country; that you expect better from them. Force the Prime Minister to explain his actions and demand to see the real plans to get the country out of the malaise that has set in. Become proactive and stop being passive and non reactive to these developments.
Do you really understand what the 20/20 vision plans are and how the government plans to get us there? I really don’t care about that at this time. What every citizen should be concerned about is, what are the government's plans to diversify the economy and more importantly provide the mechanisms to ensure that we have alternative food items produced locally to weather the growing food storm that is tearing economies apart globally.
The Rowley issue should remind people that the government was elected into office to enhance the lives of the people and not intended to promote the dreams of one man who wants to leave his stamp on the country regardless of the outcome.

Apr 23, 2008

Pan On The Net Radio - Pan Music Without Compromise 24-7

No apologies and no compromise on "When Steel Talks"

Listen to the 'niceness" - pan on the net at the link below & don't forget to check the archive playlist for more musical sessions:

Listen now link here!

Apr 2, 2008

The Speaker, Mr. Panday and the WACKy Shout Box

The Speaker of the House
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Speaker, or in his absence the Deputy Speaker, presides over each sitting of the House of Representatives, acts as Chairman of Committees of the House and enforces the observance of all rules for preserving order in its proceedings. As a result he maintains order, enforces the rules as is necessary, interprets Standing Orders and practices of the House, deals with points of order and gives rulings when called upon to do so.
The Speaker is considered the guardian of the privileges of the Members of the House of Representatives and the chief characteristics required are authority and impartiality. The Speaker is also responsible for the management and general administration of the House.
Mr. Panday
There was an incident in Parliament recently where the leader of the opposition, Mr. Basdeo Panday, refused to shut down his laptop computer when requested to do so by the Speaker of the House, the Honorable Barendra Sinanan. Mr. Panday described his behavior as “act of civil disobedience”. This act of disobedience will result in a suspension but a suspension for what? Was this episode about the use of the laptop, the disobedience of the Speaker’s instructions or his refusal to accede to the Standing Order 43(5) or simply all three? What really happened here, who is right and who is wrong? I had a conversation in the WACK Shout box that led me to conclude that these WACKonians didn’t really take time to examine the situation and readily concluded that Mr. Panday is emphatically wrong.
On the surface Mr. Panday disobeyed the Speaker so he is wrong, correct? Well it is not that simple my dear friends. You see just as there are laws that the members of Parliament have to follow so too does the Speaker. Just keep in mind that Mr. Panday is an experienced lawyer and one who understands our system of government and the law well. Sometimes there are 'principled issues' that people go out on a limb to defend - was this the case with Mr. Panday?
Personally, I believe the Speaker chose the wrong issue to use to punish the leader of the opposition. A person should have the right to use a laptop computer during any presentation whether during his presentation or to research information during someone else’s presentation - that is just common sense, for heaven's sake. The more informed the person is, the better the debate and a more productive outcome we will have. This is not a mathematics test in High school where no electronic devices can be used during an examination - that was a silly move by the Speaker and he should have known better when dealing with elected officials conducting the business of the people.
“The population is under a very grave misapprehension, this issue has nothing to do with the use of a computer. The issue is that the Speaker is trying to amend the Standing Orders of this country unlawfully, illegally, without authority and without power,” Panday said. “He cannot, by issuing a memo, change the Standing Orders. The Standing Orders contain nothing about the use of a computer as indeed it talks about not having a briefcase,” he said.,76089.html
Do we know if Mr. Panday is correct with this assertion? Who understands the laws better you, me or do you think that Mr. Panday has a better understanding of the mechanics of Parliamentary procedure? How many of us understand the way Parliament operates? Is he right or wrong? If Mr. Panday is correct, then what is the precedent for the Speaker to act in this manner? Then again if the Speaker is correct Mr. Panday will pay the price for his behavior. I am not judging anyone here because I don’t know if Mr. Panday is correct about the law or if the Speaker had the right to change the rules as he deems fit. However, it seems that everyone who participated in the discussion in the shout box think that Mr. Panday is the problem. Just remember that in Haiti it was an act of disobedience that changed the rules and brought freedom to the people from the rule of France. If the leader of the opposition's principled stand is wrong only Mr. Panday will pay the price for it, Ok.
The Shout Box is very interesting indeed. It is a place where very educated individuals come to have fun – to unwind, that's it. One person who epitomizes this is Debbie from Maryland and the other is TriniRicky - most of the time they don’t care about the bacchanal in the box or political turmoil but I am sure they have their convictions grounded in stone. Then there are others who believe that they are the voice of reason and must speak out (wait one minute now, I guess that I am in that category also, ha). My experiences in the box are varied but simply because I seem to always go against the grain I usually get in trouble – on Wednesday April 2, 2008 it was no different.
I missed the Bassa segment and entered the box after seeing that Mr. Panday was tried and convicted of the crime of setting a bad example - in the estimation of my esteemed colleagues he was guilty as charged. No one seemed to care about his ‘fight’ and the silly (yes silly) rule that the Speaker was enforcing - let’s call it 'the laptop rule'. Tigress was front and center and decided that Panday is against progress and should be dealt with (he is always opposing and never supports anything). I even saw in the box that he is Guyanese and should be sent back. Just imagine a man who has fought for years in the Sugar Industry and served the country for decades is being treated in such a manner. Now don’t be misguided and believe that I am a Panday supporter. No, no, no I am not. I thought he made a fool of himself during the elections and for those who can remember he and I had our differences aired on WACK when he was a guest with Cowen Boneo moderating a political segment during the election campaign. I supported the COP (we can have a discussion about that if anyone desires).
Not a Damn Dog Bark
Just to show how biased the shout box is, to date over 100 persons have been murdered, food prices are outrageously out of control and nothing done to solve crime or help the agricultural sector. Guess what not a damn Dog bark! No one from the shout box said a word, no discussion about it, but today the Honorable Patrick Manning spoke about plans to solve the problem of the current food crisis which he was quoted as saying is a “top priority.” Wow, guess what - the box lit up. Hope springs eternal in the human breast (sweet); I hope the plans work, we have to give him a chance yap, yap, yap. Amazing, what does that tell you – it was like the election victory – talk only about the good refrain from criticizing the bad. The aircraft that crashed before it took off – remember the cry? Buy the plane; at least we will see where the money is going. The food crisis was on the horizon for some time but there was no action or reaction from the government, now here come the honorable Prime Minister with 'words' that are meant to appease but food prices keep rising.
It has been some time now that the importers have been complaining about the difficulty to source food items on the world market. The US and World wheat crops were poor - that is old news and the US ethanol production has not gone up substantially to deplete the supply of corn. These facts were available for some time now and did the government act? Hell no! So when I see the hypocrisy in the box I sigh and wonder. Does anyone recall the closing of Caroni Limited - the PM's best move as he claimed. Caroni limited was in agriculture and was the driving force in the creation of the World famous Buffalypso - our government destroyed it all. They were advised to go into ethanol production (diversification of the sugar industry) but refused because we have oil. Forget about all the downstream industries it would have created. Forget the fact that the closure of the industry put thousands in unemployment without retraining to work in other fields of endeavor. None of that mattered. The Jamaicans are now involved in ethanol production with the assistance of the Brazilians. Venezuela is assisting the Caribbean region with cheap fuel and production facilities to support the energy sector in the Caribbean region. We, on the other hand, are content to collect taxes on our resources while the multinational corporations walk away with the bounty. Do you really think that these were smart moves by your government?
And while all of this is going on the topic of discussion is Mr. Panday and the Speaker of the House - talk about a classic distraction from the true ill that face the society. To be honest if you want to be entertained, visit the WACKy shout box for your daily dose of entertainment.
Gosh ah going to bed, good night.

Mar 30, 2008

Parliamentary Lacouray

Dey Say:
Much ado about nothing … trouble in Parliament leading to the postponement of the people’s business. Now I am not foolish into thinking that this was about the laptop. This was really about the Speaker of the House conducting business as he wants to – under the guise of standing orders.
Now what is the big deal with the use of the laptop? I don’t see why Parliamentarians can’t have access to any information that allows them to provide the best presentation in the interest of the district they represent or the country as a whole. Big deal this is not an examination and the use of electronic devices are barred from usage. When I think about this is become more and more silly.
The government spent a ton of the taxpayer’s money to provide laptops for Ministers and representatives so why don’t they make 100% use of the equipment that would eventually disappear and would eventually end up as a write off. People using laptops should be able to use it to make presentations. What kind of distraction would the use of a laptop cause? It is quiet, there is no sound coming from fans and the keyboard. What is the big deal? The amount of information that representative can store depends on the size of their hard drives and the use of the laptop would enable them to reference material stored on the hard drive quickly.
Mr. Panday referenced the fact that he has every broken promise made by the government stored on his laptop – good for him. This would enable him to counter point discussions and new promises/rehashed promises made with ease. Likewise the government ministers could have information about broken promises/statements made by Mr. Panday and the Opposition benches to use as counter points. The computer is an important tool for sustained and educated discussions but should not be used as a deterrent to a successful Parliamentary session.
The truth is that these educated gentlemen, whom have been elected to represent the public interest, like to play games and poke fun at each other. The interest of the people gets attention after the fun has taken place. Small island politics at its best!

Mar 28, 2008

‘Caste system destroying Hinduism’

Dey Say:
“The caste system has destroyed the perception of Hinduism globally and this is why millions of people have been alienated and they have left Hinduism. The caste system has been destructive and this is the reality.” —Dr Balliram Chadee.
No one needs a degree to realize that the caste system that places persons of the Hindu faith in a social order that literally makes some servants for life is ridiculous. How can one believe in God and the essence of God that places all men and women as his beloved children yet still place an individual to a life of servitude simply because of the color of his skin or simply because of the caste he/she belongs to - it is a sinful creation of man not God!
I remember many years ago dating this young lady whose parents were Hindus – that never went anywhere because they considered to be rude and out of place. Why, because I challenged their belief! The mother asked me my name and when I said it she asked why “it couldn’t be Maharaj of Singh”. Man I got furious and told her that this is Trinidad not India and that the caste system has no place in a modern civilized society (no apologies to India). That was the end of the relationship – just to let you know, that family self destructed and became a mess with suicide and divorce – a tragedy indeed (this is a true story).
If Dr. Chadee can make inroads into the Maha Saba organization I will consider him a modern day hero but that is only wishful thinking. People like Sat Maharaj will never change. As he said education is the key and most of the young Indo Trinidadians know better. However, we have bigger problems in Trinidad today with a disillusioned society and a total lack of direction from those who can effect change.
Dr. Chadee, good luck with your plans you will need divine intervention to achieve those lofty goals.

Mar 21, 2008

Good Friday Thoughts

It is Good Friday around the World and a day that is rife with ‘fete matches’ throughout Trinidad and Tobago. This is the day that the Bobolee is beaten and laughter erupts in park areas as young and old alike attempt to climb the greasy pole to get the prize at the top of the pole (usually a leg of ham). Indeed it is a wonderful experience for everyone and jokes abound about the barrel wash juice that is served.
The time is now 10:45 am and I just read an article on today’s Trinidad Guardian that caused me to pause. There are now 90 deaths caused because of premeditated/spur of the moment rage/ruthlessness that resulted in murder. What a disgrace and shame as the Easter religious period arrives with so much hate and despair in the society. We have a small sector of the society hell bent on creating chaos and mayhem at a time when we can hardly keep our heads above the financial despair that has gripped so many families in the society. Fear of an uncertain future, fear of crime and the criminal element at a time when we should be celebrating the gift that the Creator has given to us. The malicious element will not rest and have no respect for life, liberty and happiness unless it is their life, their liberty and their happiness.
So today when you stand on the sidelines and enjoy a bellyful of laughter because of the great camaraderie on the playgrounds pause and reflect at our present state. Enjoy the moment and celebrate with your friends and family but remember that tomorrow we just may be reading about another murder another senseless crime that will surely bring pain and suffering to somebody’s family.
We are not alone and we must make an effort to stem the tide of despair brought about by these nefarious elements in the society. So go out and have some fun, laugh and cheer on your friends and family but be safe and think about how you can help to right the ship in these turbulent times.
If you are a Christian and you believe in the Gospel then your faith will guide you to always make the right decisions. Remember to pause, even walk away from an argument that could lead to some of the senseless mishaps that resulted in the loss of life. Franklyn Dolly hosted a show on WACK radio 90.1 FM in which he spoke about ‘dispute resolution and the state of our emotional bank’. He said that we should take the time to ‘talk it out’; those are simple but very powerful words. It seems that we have lost our way and it is more about me than us. We must never ever forget that in this life we are in it together forever like a husband and wife. We must learn to ride the rough waters and not run out to divorce each other as a first resort. There are options out there; we need to seek them out!
So go and beat the Bobolee and release your tensions, hug your friends and always remember to set the stage so that the children will learn to do things the right way – they are always listening and watching, what example are you teaching?
Happy Good Friday, happy Easter, may God bless us and guide us all too always do the right thing, to set the right example.

Mar 18, 2008

Now the Women Police officers are embroiled in theft of funds!

Dey Say
It has been reported that two women police officers allegedly stole over $1M from 2006 to 2008. This is on the heels of another report of Police officers raiding or misusing funds allocated to pay overtime salaries due to deserving officers.
The money that was allegedly stolen was legitimately approved for disbursement but manipulated to line the pockets of the two devious officers. The funds were allocated to the Homicide Bureau.
One of the officers is reported to have eight years service while the other officer was recently posted the Homicide Bureau from the Finance department.
Isn't it amazing that there is no oversight and approval for the disbursement and use of these funds. Why is it so easy for these unscrupulous persons to get away with these acts of deceit for so long?
There is a need for oversight and accountability at every level and most importantly these officers, if/when found guilty, should be made to pay for this crime. They should repay every penny stolen and disgracefully discharged without pension.

Mar 15, 2008

A Dell away from Incaceration

“TWO upper sixth form Hillview College students are among six other people who remained in police custody last night in connection with the theft of Dell computers from the college.”
Isn't this incredible; who does not believe that this was an inside job? These students must have had assistance from the security guards on duty to have been able to move 28 Dell Computers and not be seen. This is what the country has come to when students will ruin the chances of others to benefit from the technology provided for the entire school. These students should be treated like the scoundrels that they are and charged as adults in this fiasco.
Fortunately 18 of the computers have already been recovered and arrests have been made in several areas. It is amazing that the parents of these students did not question the students when they showed up at home with several of the stolen computers – the parents are looking culpable since they remained quiet and did not act appropriately, they did not do the right thing.
The students who participated in this distasteful act are six formers of the prestigious Hilview College – they have brought shame and scandal to their families. These students are preparing for University entry and it seems common sense thinking was superseded by the lust for quick money to satisfy their wants not needs. They needed to get a good education but might now end up finding out all about the way justice works.
I feel for the good hard working students who now have to live with the fact that they don’t have the needed computers to accelerate their studies and now have to live with this stain to the school’s good name.
Let’s hope that these students learn a very ‘hard’ lesson and turn to their books now that they have ruined their chances for easy access to the jobs out there because of the theft of the computers – it is now up to the court system to determine the future of these misled youths.

Mar 12, 2008

Medical (HIV) Catastrophe

Dey Say
It was reported today that there are between 20K to 30K (close to 30,000 infected) persons infected with HIV in Trinidad and Tobago! There was no explanation as to how this figure was ascertained. However, if the estimate is this big then, know that it is worse than the quoted figure. There are many infected persons out there who just don't know, who don't like going to doctors, those who simply don't care and won't tell their partners.
The disease will multiply in crazy fashion because of promiscuity and those who will continue to have unprotected intercourse. Carnival just went by and it is a known fact that 'free sex' is part of the festivities (the disease is in incubation in many now) ... many young men attended fetes with the hope/goal of getting 'laid'. What a disaster... know it will only get worse.
The medical community will be overwhelmed once the disease explodes into full blown AIDS. This is a story that we need to follow and hopefully the Minister of Health (Jerry Narace) will face the public and state the plans of the Health Ministry to deal with this current/impending disaster.

Mar 11, 2008

Lengua Parents want a School. Now!

Lengua parents are upset, in other words they are damn mad. Just imagine that over 3 years ago the Lengua Presbyterian School was declared a hazard and abandoned. The students have been accommodated at the Inverness Presbyterian Primary school since their school was declared a hazard.
Now the question has to be asked, what really is the priority of the government? The Education Minister, Esther Le Gendre, needs to address the concerns of these protesting parents immediately. They want to know when the school is going to be rebuilt. After all this is all about the 20/20 vision plans, right?
Recently we saw $400M approved for the purchase of an aircraft that was done literally overnight. So the Minister needs to explain why after 3 years nothing has been done to remedy the problem in Lengua.
The funny thing is that this government is good at putting up new buildings, just check out Port-of-Spain; there are new buildings all over with others currently in various phases of construction.
Build the school for the children – they are our future!

Mar 10, 2008

Heads should roll for this injustice to the Citizens

Dey Say,
“Chairman of the UNC Couva South constituency executive Ken Ramnarine said Asst Supt Ramnath of the Couva station told him he wanted to do everything in his power to help Basta Hall residents but was hampered by a lack of vehicles.
“We’re trying to get some vehicles to assist the police,” Ramnarine said.”
This is nothing short of a damn shame and should be considered criminal neglect by the government. When I spoke about priorities regarding the purchase of the executive jet this is one situation that comes to mind. How in heavens name can an idea to purchase a plane come before cabinet today then the next day it gets approved and financing made available and the police don’t have vehicles to patrol areas? How in heavens name are the citizens of Trinidad putting up with this nonsense?
Basta Hall is a secluded village at the mercy of the bandits who recently decided that it was a good place to go and rob and terrorize the people. The police did not even attend the town meeting that was called to discuss the problem. The people have formed a neighborhood watch to protect themselves – the police simply don’t have the resources to help these taxpayers.
Just think about it some smarty-pants decided that it was an intelligent move to spend Millions of dollars to buy blimps that could be heard and seen from a distance to serve as a deterrent to crime. The bandits used the blimps as target practice and now Millions of dollars (that could have purchased cars for the entire police force) is grounded. Now we are getting a jet, no immediate help for the coast guards and definitely no police cars to respond to citizen’s cries for assistance.
Don’t you think heads should roll for these injustices?

Mar 8, 2008

Move in this Direction

Dey Say,
“Dey thief, all ah dem thief, buy de damn plane, at least ah go see whey de money going. What they talking about people suffering now; what, dey didn’t know people suffering all de time? Food prices going up, ah didn’t hear dem say anything. People cyar afford to buy food, ah didn’t hear dem say ah ting, so buy de damn plane. People doh like progress and the plane go make de country look good! Dey thief when dey were in government the airport scandal still relevant and they build de ting with gypsum board for all that money spent … so buy de damn plane – a sampling of typical Trini talk.”
Yes, indeed they should go ahead and purchase the plane … no big deal it will simply add to the list of items to complain about. Nothing will come of it and with the Point Fortin Carnival coming up all will be forgotten. I think the government should use the blimps to travel about the place but wait the blimps have been grounded for various reasons – tax payer’s money down the drain.

Again, we have more bad news to report. There is a festering abscess called crime in the country. A good portion of it is related to drugs and illegal guns that find their way into the country by persons (local and foreign) using power boats to dash across the ocean from the Venezuelan coastline. Hey that is easy to stop, send the Coast Guard to intercept these boats – an easy solution. But wait one minute now most of the Coast Guard vessels are out of service.

OK here is the plan, get the jet as fast as possible and use it to check the coast line regularly to make up for the missing Coast Guard vessels. Yes that was a silly idea but it looks like the government is devoid of ideas. Six vessels have been ordered with the first delivery date scheduled for some time in 2009. In the interim the drug dealers are having an uninterrupted supply of guns and drugs to devastate the society. We not come to a very important word that every government minister should have on a 3X5 index card – Priorities! Yes I am serious, the answer in the short term is to list the things that are needed to be addressed then prioritize the needs and attack them going from the most important to the least. Make the citizens feel good knowing that their government cares and is addressing their needs.

I have not forgotten the argument made by many about the purchase of the Executive Jet and that is it will not be PM Manning’s jet but that of the nation. The fact that the next administration will have the jet to use is no excuse to get the jet. Just remember that our governments have been accused of corrupt practices in the past and most people don’t really care about it in the future. However, it is time that we put a stop to this attitude and move on. Everything should be above board. Nothing should be in question and there should be a body free of government intervention to examine business transactions conducted by any government of the country. This is not about the PNM or the UNC or the next government that would be elected. This is about ensuring that every penny spent by future governments can be accounted for and that it should all be spent to benefit the economy and lives of the people living in the republic.

Is that the case today? No, so there is a need to pass new laws that will create a body to look over all the dealings of the government, every contract agreed to should be squeaky clean and no one should profit personally from public transactions. Can we get that done? You tell me…

Mar 7, 2008

Crafty Jet Transaction Indeed - what is the truth?

Dey Say
This Bombardier Jet purchase is getting more and more confusing every day. It was reported in one daily newspaper that the government never advanced any money to Caribbean Airlines to secure the new jet for the Executive service planned by who ever had the idea to do so (PM, Government or Caribbean Airlines).
Now if the government did not advance the monies where did CA get that kind of money to make the deposit to secure the aircraft? This airline was officially launched a few months ago and does not have that kind of cash available. So where did the money come from? Well a ‘source’ as reported in the newspaper stated, "After Cabinet held its discussions Caribbean Airlines made a deposit towards the acquisition of the aircraft."
These politicians are crafty and given the statement above one can tell that the person was still dodging answering the question that begs being answered, ‘did the government provide the financing?’
Only in sweet TNT folks, have a very pleasant weekend!

Mar 6, 2008



Dey Say,
75 Persons have been murdered in Trinidad to date!

Do you know what your Government is doing about it?

Mar 5, 2008

“Grossly Backward Equipment,”

Dey Say
Well it looks like Frankenstein has stepped out of the movies and has found a home at the mortuary of the Eric Williams Medical Complex. Non functional euipment could only mean that bodies are piling up at the mortuary and with the current rate of murders they may soon run out of room to store the bodies.
Just imagine in this day and age of revolutionary medical practices that the doctors at the Medical Complex are using crude hacksaws to open up the deceased citizens for the post mortem examinations. Why? Lord, have mercy because it is a sin that the maintenance of the equipment is disgracefully inadequate. How in heavens name can both power saws go bad at the same time with no other means to quickly get the equipment repaired? Isn’t the Eric Williams Medical Complex the best on the Island? If that is the case then medical services are in trouble and if this is the way they are treating our deceased relatives then Crapo smoke yuh pipe on entering these facilities.
With so much money being spent on development of infrastructure why can’t we get up to date working equipment? Jerry Narace need to start providing the services that people need and stop trying to score points with the first 30 days report when the essential problems have not been resolved. The San Fernando hospital still needs beds. Point Fortin needs a new hospital and the Eric Williams Medical Complex needs to have its equipment repaired immediately.

So please don't let this happen again - no use or claims of "grossly backward equipment" being used to conduct medical services/procedures.

Mar 4, 2008

'Drowned man Rescued' - Huh?

Only in Trinidad can a ‘drowned man’ be rescued and make the headlines of a national newspaper as such. This story has a happy and a sad side to it - one man survived while one was found dead and a third person is missing.
Jameel Ali, Ramzan Ali (father) and Ishmael Ali (cousin) were swept out to sea while fishing off North Post on Saturday. The body of Ramzan Ali was recovered by the Coast Guard while Ishmael’s body is still missing.
The family of the Ali’s was mourning the loss of their loved ones whom were considered lost to the sea – drowned. So it was a miracle that some of their friends decided to take a boat and go out to look for the missing men. Newsday reported that, “A few friends from the market took a boat and went out to sea. They found him clinging to the rocks.” It was a miracle that they found him and that is where the ‘drowned man’ was rescued.

Miracles do happen sometimes!

Mar 3, 2008

Gingerbread House Family Lacouray

The Boissiere House is the big story in Trinidad because the Heritage Foundation wants it to be labeled a National treasure because of its architecture. The present owner is very pleased and wants upwards of $45M for the property. However, this note is not about the house per say but the origins of the Boissiere family and that is why it is in the Dey Say Blog.
Dey Say that way back in the early part of the 19Th century a French Creole planter, Jean de Boissiere, had an ‘affair’ with one of his slaves, a Zu Zule, and fathered a child who was named Jules Arnold Boissiere. Jules Boissiere was born in 1856. Jules in turn fathered Eliza Boissiere who was a very important person in the history of Trinidad and Tobago … why?
The ‘why’ is very significant because Dey Say has learnt that Eliza Boissiere who later married civil servant Henry Thomas Williams gave birth to two children? The oldest boy was born in 1911 and was named Eric. Yes my friends the very same father of the nation Dr. Eric Eustace Williams.
The Boissiere house was built by Charles Boissiere as a gift for his wife Alice Boissiere. Charles was the third cousin of Dr Eric Williams. So now you can see the connection of the house to the father of the nation, Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams. Some people want the government to purchase the house because of the history of the family and the connection to the late Dr. Williams. Both Charles and Eric were decedents of the French Creole planter Dean de Boissiere and his African mistress ZuZule.

“What ah ting boi!”

Mar 2, 2008


This work by Elspeth Duncan has been reposted because of its relevance... Please don't ignore it. Watch the video!

Original Post:
To anyone visiting my blog please go to the website link provided in this post and view the video “Invisible” by Elspeth Duncan.

Mar 1, 2008

Was it Fair to call the City Port-of-Shame?

Do you think that it was fair to call the capital city 'Port-of-Shame' because of the killings that recently took place within the last three weeks?
Dey Say that the talk on the streets is that lawlessness is prevalent and the security forces are unable to deal with the current brazen killing machine walking as human beings who calmly walk up to their victims and pull the trigger. These guys have ice flowing in their veins. Port of Spain has police officers and soldiers patrolling the streets yet still this guy was brazen enough to walk up to Marlon Gocking and pull the trigger on a busy street.
Dey Say that the Mayor and PM are living a lie or simply don’t have a clue on the direction to take to correct the lawlessness that has taken hold of the nation. People are murdered almost every day and this is the norm all over the country. So why did they choose to call the city Port of Sham? The mayor of 'Port of Shame' yikes I am sorry Port of Spain has accused the leader of the Opposition as sensationalizing the situation that is taking place in the city and has assured the public that the city is safe. Ahem serious murders are taking place and he considers the city safe.
This reminds me of the radio personalities on WACK radio who like to tease the Trinidadians living overseas about the beauty of the Island (we do know how beautiful the island is btw) and that we are missing so much. Screech, hold on just one minute now, I guess that I read more local newspapers that these guys do because every day there is another murder to report, that was not the case when I resided in Trinidad. The country is beautiful but all civility and moral values have been flushed into the Gulf of Paria. The country needs a bush bath to wash off this blight that is ruing the good name of the city of Port of Spain and the country in general.
I don’t think that it was fair to label the city 'Port-of-Shame' but the point was well made and hopefully will get the attention needed to clean up these recalcitrant law breakers.

Feb 28, 2008

Kings Warf Fish Market in need of Water

Dey Say
All that they are asking for is a good supply of water to keep the stalls clean and in a sanitary condition for the sale of their fish. That is the plight, the concern of the Fish vendors at the Kings Warf Fish Market in San Fernando.
Fish already has a smell to it and just imagine the excess fish scales and blood remaining in the stalls as the sun burns in all its glory. The smell turns ‘nasty’ and unsanitary producing conditions that are unfit for a place that sells fish that is to become food. It is deplorable that no one in control seems to know about the problem. Isn’t it a fact that all markets have someone on site to ensure that things are done in an orderly fashion? Someone has to open and close the market every day so how is it that the San Fernando Borough Corporation is unaware that the water is turned off at 10:00 am every day?
Well Marlene Coudray, the city corporation’s chief executive, has promised to ‘fix’ the problem while stating that she was unaware of the problem.

"Who said dat not dey say but she say!"

Feb 26, 2008

Wasa Sink holes gut traffic along Lady Young Avenue

“Dey Say”
Ruptured pipelines seem to be the ire of many taxi drivers prompting them to shut down traffic on the pot hole strewn pavement. This gripe and the constant broken axles prompted over 60 taxi drivers to stage a noisy protest to get the relevant authorities to repair the rutted roadway along Lady Young Avenue. Indeed it seems like the Ministry responsible for the long needed repairs are cowering behind Wasa’s assumed guilt as speculated by the drivers who ply the route.
Incredibly with the entire 'vote getting road repairs' that took place during the last general elections someone forgot about Lady Young Avenue. I guess the people were satisfied with the work done by the previous administration and did not seem to care about the roadway’s condition during the election campaigning. Now all hell has broken loose and the drivers and the passengers who ply the route are hopping mad.
‘Dey say’, it is a case of too little too late; 'cry all yuh want but yuh get what yuh deserved', cried Albot to Senseless (voters who wore blinders during the general elections). But wait one minute, no taxpayer deserves this (hey btw do taxi drivers pay income tax on the earnings from working the taxi?). You deserve to drive on roads like the ones repaved during the election campaign, don’t you? Don’t be fooled into thinking that I am happy that the road is in disrepair – I am not. However, no one seemed to care during the election campaigning. What should be done? Well, the fact that your protest made Newsday is a start. The longer the situation remains the same the more maintenance work will have to be done to keep your vehicles on the road. Don’t take no or the wait and see attitude. Empower yourselves and make it happen.
Keep protesting and let your presence be known to the Minister responsible for the roadway. 'Stick2itiveness' is a necessity. By all means let your Parliamentary representatives know that you mean business and that you expect action from him.

Keep hope alive and your repair shop phone number on speed dial on your mobile phone.

Feb 25, 2008

"Delusional" and "Irresponsible"

"Dey Say"
A well known High Court judge has labeled the comments of a government minister as "delusional" and "irresponsible" in reference to crime and criminals in the URP program.
Almost every Trinidadian knows that most of the ‘bad boys’ were given a piece of the cake by doling out employment positions in government programs that have had many different names like ’10 days’ and most notably the URP program. These programs have people showing up for work and are back at home before 10:00 am with a grin on their faces for not doing anything but getting paid all the same.
Justice Anthony Carmona was swift in his pronouncement that the government minister (not named) was out of touch with the current state of affairs as it relates to the criminal elements in the URP program.
To quote from the Express article:
“However, former Local Government Rennie Dumas, when questioned on the issue in the run-up to last year's general election, went on record to say that there were no criminal elements in the URP.
Police statistics have shown that over 100 of the victims of gangland killings since 2002 were either URP supervisors, foremen, contractors or workmen.
Homicide detectives and officers from several intelligence units formed to monitor gangs have also said dozens more murders committed are related to fall-out from State-run special works projects.
Government involvement in hiring and awarding of contracts to known criminals has also been well documented over the last ten years.”

The judges ‘see it all’ in the courts and they know ‘from concrete evidence’ that the URP program harbors criminals. Now, to be fair, trying to rehabilitate known criminals by providing employment opportunities is not a bad idea. However, the problem is implementation of the program and monitoring of these people and the work they produce. A worker must produce; in this way he/she will feel empowered and will spend wisely the monies that they worked hard to obtain. However, when people simply show up, don’t work and get paid then it is like finding money in the streets and it is not of the same value to the person. They will spend it without thinking.
The Express article also showed the PM shaking the hands of known gang leader Sheldon “Crock” George during the run up to the General Elections on his walkabout of the Laventille area. Now what was the follow up to this meeting/casual greeting? Did the PM have a plan for these young men to help them find other ways to earn a living or get the respect that they crave so much or was it simply a move to strengthen the hold of the ruling party in the area?
Maybe the judge is correct and they are really “delusional and irresponsible” or the plan worked just the way it was envisioned. Let us hope that we don’t end up with a situation similar to that which is taking place in Bartica, Guyana.

Feb 24, 2008

Commissoner of Police refuses assistance from Jack Warner to fix Police Station

Dey Say
I recently read an article about the offer of Jack Warner to repair/refurbish the police station at Chaguanas that was turned down by the Commissioner of Police Mr. Trevor Paul. Now the Commissioner grudgingly turned down the offer because repairs to the station were ‘ongoing’ and would be completed in the ‘near future’ might be a good guess – we shall wait and see.
Now what I find very interesting is the fact that the Commissioner said that the contractor hired to do the job was unable to complete the project. Here is the quote from Newsday: “The CoP blamed the delay in refurbishment on the inability of the initial contractors to meet the completion deadline. He said the Ministry of National Security is reviewing proposals to select a new contractor. The refurbishment, said Paul, is being done in two phases, with phase one, which houses the Model Station, already completed, while phase two involves major innovations.”
Here is the big question, why isn’t this contractor being penalized for each day that the contract remains unfinished? What kind of contract did he sign and who drafted the contract that allows the contractor to get off this easily. Just imaging they are in the process of getting another contractor to complete the job. Will the government sue this contractor to get back some of the investment and how much was already spent. Does it mean that more monies will have to be allocated to complete this work?
I would like to know the original estimate and contracted fees paid to the first contractor and what is going to be the estimated bill for the new contractor to complete the work.

Situations like these could only happen in Trinidad folks!

Feb 21, 2008

The Selection Of The New Commissioner of Police in the hands of a US Company

Dey Say
What does it all mean? I mean we have to enlist an American firm to ‘finalize names of persons who have applied for the position of Commissioner of Police’. What does finalize mean? Is it that they would do background checks of the persons who applied after which the list will be given to the government for the interviewing process to begin? Does it mean that the persons applying for the position would be from places other than Trinidad and Tobago? If not then are we not competent enough to select our own Commissioner? I mean in the end isn’t the Public Service Commission going to conduct the interviews and select the Commissioner? There are so many questions that one can ask but one that must be asked, at what cost?
Dey Say ‘John Public’ doesn’t have a clue about this situation but still does not believe that the Commissioner of Police will be give the authority to clean up the police force with a powerful union waiting for the first foul ball to be tossed its’ way.
We want the new Commissioner to be held to the highest standards and probably that is the reason we have big brother in the form of the American entity involved in the screening process. Hopefully it will all be done with the best interests of the people in mind and the process concluded in time so that we don’t need to extend the present Commissioner’s tenure another year. The Prime Minister has promised that the process should be completed by May 2008.

Feb 19, 2008

What Kinda Coffee is Dat?

Many moons ago (please don’t ask, smile) I was employed with the Ministry of Works in Arima. The main office was located in a small building opposite the Arima Municipal stadium (“The Velodrome”). My first assignment was on the Blanchieusse road where one of the bridges collapsed. Not long after that assignment I was sent to work on the construction of the Bridge across the Arima River located on the Arima Old Road. This Bridge leads to the Arima Senior Comprehensive School and was an important link for the buses to get to the school. OK, so I was the “check” who kept the records at the site and our foreman’s name was Mr. Julian Reid – a wonderful man. This is where I learned the ins and outs of Babash.

Harrilal Singh, a resident of Central Trinidad would bring the “coffee” as we called it because the guys working in the river area needed “something to warm up the insides”. We had this triangular piece of half inch steel that Clyde, our in house steel bender, designed that would act as our cow bell to call the guys in. More times that ever it was used to let the guys know that they could leave the water area and come up for some “coffee”. My first reaction to the "coffee", on initiation, was, "what kinda coffee is dat?"- everyone broke out in jovial laughter! The only thing is that this “coffee”, if poured on a piece of lumbar and lighted would easily behave like gasoline – and it felt like fire rushing down your throat not because of heat but because of the alcohol content. Yes that was literally fire water. The concoction also had a unique scent that is typical of this home brew. Those were the good ole days – say whatever you want but that is how I feel about it.

These memories and the need for a new name led me to select Babash as the new name for the previously named site No silly remarks OK, this is not a “drunkard” site and we will continue with the discourse in the same manner. Babash now has a regal name to it as the local brew has been given the Midas touch by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy in association with Trinidad Distillers Limited and is being sold in the International community under the name 10 Cane Rum. This legal brew is only available at the duty free section at Piarco Airport but is easily available in the United States. The product is produced in St. Madeline in South Trinidad and is made from the first press of the sugar cane and not brewed from molasses. What a "ting" indeed. Bush Rum that is, Babash has grown up and it took a French Company to see the light.
Indeed the drink has a kick and lit up many lives back in the day. Now it has a regal price of US $31.00 (price I saw at a Manhattan liquor store) but is a little different from the original local brew. So when you think of Babash the drink or Babash the Blog think about the regal nature of 10 Cane - all the stars will be aligned just right.

Feb 18, 2008

Don't be Cruel and Inhumane but it is ok to Kill and Eat the beast!

Dey Say
The recently reported recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the USDA has raised many eyebrows around the world but especially here in the US where the beef was eaten. Ok so what do you think the typical Trini would be thinking about this whole ordeal?

Well this Trini was having a conversation this morning with one of my friends on the job (another Trini) and we came to the same conclusion. How ironic is it that they complained about ‘cruel and inhumane treatment of the animals’ but it is ok to slaughter the beasts and eat their meat.

Humans are very strange creatures, ent!

Feb 16, 2008

"We Ting?"

Dey Say…
We created it so it has to be the best! From the heart and soul, from the bosom of mother Trinidad Pan was born and nurtured into a wonderful instrument and also as an orchestra that fascinates people around the World.
Having said that then Trinidad is obviously the University of Pan with geniuses like Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore, Jit Samaroo and a host of others creating and arranging music to fascinate and drive people delirious during the Carnival festival. Panorama is de best as most Trinis would say. So it is with interest that I recently read about a few Trinidadians studying at the University of Illinois studying Pan as part of their music major. Why there and not in Trinidad?
The Pan Major students were fortunate not to be harmed (this is the University where a gunman killed six students then turned the gun on himself to end the chaos) and for that we are grateful and must give thanks that they were not harmed. However, I am curious and interested in knowing about the ‘Pan Major’ that the students were part of at the Northern Illinois University. If that is the case (studying for a music degree majoring in Pan) then, why is it that Trinidadians have to leave our homeland to study ‘Pan’ at an American University?
Why doesn’t "UWI" offer this course of study? Ok, I am not naïve and understand that the study of music is a part of most American Universities and may not be that important in the Caribbean region.
We are talking about Pan –“we ting”, as most Trinidadians like to say.
So can someone please enlighten me, help me to understand this concept where Trinidadians must leave the homeland to study Pan at in a foreign land? It is interesting to note that Mia Gormandy is the niece of one of the steel pan's genius arrangers, Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe. My ignorance has befuddled me and warrants your enlightenment.

Feb 14, 2008

"Doh flim meh nah"

Dey Say
Trinidadians really have a unique way of expressing themselves, indeed they do! On one of my other blogs I quoted some of the things we say, we truly have a unique way of expressing ourselves and that post can be read at:
What did the Trini Say?
I recently came across a blog by a Trinidadian living in England entitled *This is a Trinidad ting* with a post entitled “I miss Trini talk”. There is a You Tube clip that was embedded in the post that I have placed beneath for your viewing and comments. Yuh know when a Trini ‘get vex’ all hell breaks loose. So be aware that there is a ‘cuss word’ in the clip.
The events apparently took place during the period when the JFK Terror plot was exposed with Trinidadians involved. News crews were sweeping the area for stories and they got an aggravated Trini who was ‘willing’ to express his displeasure about the crew ‘fliming’ him.

Feb 11, 2008

Foreign bank account in the news again

Dey Say
I recently remarked in a commentary in another blog that we should get ready /brace ourselves after the Carnival has drained the last masquerader of his energy for life in the fast lane because the political lacouray will be coming fast and furious. I guess it is time to savor the moment because here we go as the opposition chief whip, Mr. Lawrence Maharaj, architect of the fallen UNC government has boldly stated that the Integrity Commission is investigating a current government minister for not reporting monies held in a foreign bank account. Does this scenario sound familiar? Just ask Bas he will give you the sordid details.
In any case ‘Dey Say’ that this government minister ‘allegedly has a $49 million (US$8 million) bank account in the United States’. It is also reported that he/she went to the US to try to cover the paper trail leading to the finances that he/she (we don’t know if it is a male or female minister) did not report to the integrity commission. What a thing, if indeed the story is not just basket on the part of the ‘Opposition Chief Whip’ because everyone knows that ‘basket doh hold water”.
In any event if this is indeed a factual story it would be interesting to see how the government pursues the matter. Just keep Bas in mind as the story unfolds. One way or another the heat in the kitchen just might be the recipe needed for an unforgiving opposition waiting in the wings for the first opportunity to embarrass the Patrick Manning administration.

What happened to Champs in Concert the true Crème de la Crème?

Dey Say
Did you watch Crème de la Crème on Saturday night? I did, to tell you the truth even though I enjoyed the show it did not feel like Champs in concert. Indeed the show was good there were some very good performances. However, I felt that it was a good cultural show that could have had the same impact if it was placed any time in the year. All the champs of the recently concluded Carnival festival are what Crème de la Crème should really have featured. Now we have to ask why did they change the format of the show and 'dissed' so many champions? It was an easy decision as far Patrick Arnold, President of Pan Trinbago was concerned – Money!
Mr. Arnold went on to state that the decision to change the format of the after carnival show was made months ago because they simply could not afford to financially support the former venture aka “Champs in Concert”.
He also stated:“Champs in Concert be-comes more and more costly every year,” he said, “We have so much competitions throughout the Carnival season and when that is done we have a lot of champions on our hands who we cannot afford to pay.”
Money is always an issue with these shows; Mr. Arnold went on to state that the show was not sponsored nor did the government have any input financially in the project that would have enabled artistes like Faye-Ann and Bunji Garlin to participate. He also noted that the venue used could only accommodate about 2,000 patrons thereby limiting the income that could have been generated by such an event.
The show in my view was well put together and is a good cultural package to put on a DVD for sale. Hopefully next year thing would be different and Crème de la Crème will once again accommodate the Champions of the season.

Feb 7, 2008

Not so Secure Guard loses Smith and Wesson revolver.

Dey Say
Only in Trinidad something like this could happen and in this case the bad news could sound so sweet. It was reported that a security guard, while on duty mind you, at a supermarket decided to take a nap. Now take it easy it was not his break time and someone came to relieve him so that he could get something to eat or even use the facilities. He decided that even though he was getting paid to secure the premises of the supermarket that it was ok to take a nap. So much for value for money! This single stupid act may have probably ruined the reputation of that security firm. Now when this guard awoke from his slumber he realized that his Smith and Wesson revolver and 12 rounds of ammunition was missing and were very likely now in the hands of criminals.
Now the story gets even better or worse (you be the judge). He reported that around 2:00 am on Carnival he left the gun and ammunition in a bar area of the restaurant and went to take a nap leaving the gun at the bar area. What stupidity to part with the weapon that you need to use in case of a break in to defend not only the property from theft but also for his own personal safety. This story smells and more investigation is needed to get to the bottom of this story. Only in Trinidad folks!

Pirated Music Seized, Vendors Arrested!

Dey Say
On Ash Wednesday instead of going to Church and asking for forgiveness several vendors were out plying their trade selling pirated music compact discs. However, the police in conjunction with COTT (the Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago) had other plans and ensured that these pirated music discs were not sold thereby robbing the artistes of the income they so deserve for the music that drives the carnival festival. It was reported that over 2,500 illegal discs were seized with several vendors now in police custody waiting processing for their flagrant disregard of the law and the livelihood of the music artistes.
Dey Say that many of the vendors were quite adamant and upset with the law enforcement agencies saying, “But we have to eat too, we have children to feed. What allyuh want we to do?”(Just a dramatization but has been reported by many calypsonians). There are many answers that can apply to such a ‘bold-statement’ but I will keep away from saying anything other than it is against the law to make and sell pirated music.
It is very sad that in a small country like Trinidad and Tobago where Oil and Gas are King fetching ridiculously high prices on the World market that so many people are “ketching dey arse” and seeking illegal ways to earn an income. Can someone tell me why the bounty of the harvest hasn’t trickled down to the owners of the resources – the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago?

Feb 4, 2008

Ent all Saltfish Sweet?

Dey Say
Not me say so, eh eh, not the Pwefentious one, it is the one and only Birdie, Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow who said, “all saltfish sweet”.

To quote the Master of the art-form:
“Saltfish stew is what I like So doo-doo, give me day and night. I like you food, so don't find me rude. My favorite, I sure every man in here already eat itSaltfish. Nothing in the world sweeter than Saltfish English, colloquial, Bajans Saltfish. It's sweeter than meat. When you want to eat All saltfish sweet”

Now I understand just about every Trini understands the duality of the lyrics of the song in its entirety, however for the naive or the person who says, “me eh know what he talking bout”, let’s start something. What is your saltfish story? Come on everybody has one. It could be a literal gourmet delight (in more ways than one) or it could be the one with the twist to it. Listen ladies doh laugh, we are also looking forward to reading yours also.

As for this writer, I am taking the high road on this one. However, to be honest with you, “fuss ah love meh saltfish”. It was once considered the poor man’s delight now it is a luxury. However, Smarty thinks that Saltfish in the US just as sweet and Saltfish from the homeland. So whether it is Buljol, Accra or good ole Bacalo as dem Spanish like to call it - we talking food here my friend, get yuh head out of the gutter man - share yours with us. Meh mouth watering right now – let meh splash some water on meh face. LOL – Take this one in yuh pwefen. Just for the record let me state it here officially that I like meh Saltfish with tomatoes and oil and cassava on de side with ah lil cow tong dumpling dey too – and yes ah like all kinds ah saltfish. So let me finish off with a few more lines from de Birdie:

“Very well, I like the taste though the smell, sometimes out of place It hard to take, but make no mistake I want you to know, it's because it extra sweet it smelling so boy it's Saltfish Big money does run behind it Saltfish. Man does lick down man to find it Saltfish It's sweeter than meat When you want to eat, All saltfish sweet”

What is your Saltfish story? Some of us are not lovers of Cod Fish but Saltfish Man, come on get real. "Trini men, all ah could say iz God bless you all because ah could hear yuh laughing already".

Come on get creative – let's have some fun with this topic as only real Trinis can!

A Short Mango Story from my childhood

Dey Say
Highland lands were just a stone’s across the rail tracks was our playground just opposite to what was Netto chicken farm. The chicken farm is now home to a very sizable Mormon house of worship. Now when I say playground I mean a piece of land that we cut the grass and put in a dirt cricket pitch to play wind ball cricket. This was not a playground that was provided by the municipality. As a matter of fact if you go looking for this playground all that you will see are houses. Yes, Highland lands are now a busy housing settlement.
It is one short story about a special Mango Rose tree that is gone now. It was located across the rail tracks on our make shift cricket ground (now a housing settlement). It was a beautiful Sunday evening and four of us went to the grounds to hang out. Obviously we ended in the mango tree because there were quite a few red looking mangos with some yellow on them – they were ready for the picking. Fraff, Bucky, Drake (all nick names) and I climbed the tree and it was speed up the branches to get the best mango. Well after picking one each we settled down on top the tree chatting and eating the mangos. Mr. Bucky wanted to get one mango that was a little out of reach but he insisted that he could get it. I wasn’t paying attention but all I heard was a crack and he sailed past me and hit the ground with a groan. We were all in shock and literally raced down the tree. Fortunately, we did not end up in the Arima Hospital because the ground under the tree was not that hard but he limped away from the scene. Well boi, when we knew that he was ok it was ‘fatigue and laughter galore’. I remember and see it like it happened yesterday.
So my friends, do you have a mango story? More importantly, what are some of the mangos that you ate as a kid and did you eat some that I did not mention here. I am sure you can recall making mango chow (Rose Mango was the best for that as far as I am concerned) with that special Trini yellow pepper ah lil shadow benny for flavor and of course a touch of salt – gosh those were the good ole days!

Mango Days

Dey Say
When I was a boy growing up in Trinidad I loved eating mangos. Arima where I grew up (was born in South), had a variety of mangoes that I loved. In my yard we have three Julie mango trees and one special mango that my father grafted. He took a turpentine mango and Julie mango and grafted both – a very unusual mango with a very unique taste came from that – I crave the taste of it. On the boundary with the neighbors we had one mango lone (the good type) and the other was stringy that stuck in your teeth (a little sour also). These mangos are like the Haitian Totot mangos. We also had one we called mango teen (I never liked the taste of that mango). To the back of the yard on another neighbors lot were different types of mango rose and one we called Hog mango (a type mango rose) but it was a little different.
Another neighbor two lots over had what we called mango John (white inside) – very nice tasting mango. One that I loved pelting down was mango splash. Mango Splash had the thinnest seed that I have ever seen in a mango but that mango sweet for so. Now close to the Eastern Main Road and opposite the Public Cemetery is the Baca Jhonnie Sawmill (local whites). In that saw mill had three types of mangoes. One was the Belly full (that is the biggest mango ah ever see in meh life). The other was strange and I can’t recall the name. However, there was one that had the shape of the mango long but when ripe it became red. That mango tree was on the bank of a ravine that passed alongside the saw mill and near what we called ‘gravel park’ (where we played soccer close to Reid Lane) and down to the train tracks into Samaroo Village. That mango is a very special mango because if you are not careful when peeling it the milk from the skin of the mango gave it that peculiar name of ‘mango scratch mouth’. If you picked it from the tree and peeled it the way most people do back home (with yuh mouth) and the milk touches your skin it becomes an itchy episode. We used to pick it and put it to get ‘stale’ before eating it. But boys will be boys and we always had to take ah chance and pay the price for it.
Mango Dou douce and mango starch – yummy yummy! These mangos had small seeds especially mango Dou douce, sometimes yuh could put two in yuh mouth at the same time. Starch mango is really nice – meh mother in law has a tree in their yard on Pro Queen Street in Arima. Now mango is boss and so expensive that thieves walking in yuh yard and taking it – and yuh better keep quiet about it yes boi.
Mango Calabash was also a nice one but I liked it half ripe, I never liked it when it was fully ripe. The one thing I hated (and I just have a feeling that Trinimango used to do this) was to soften the mango until inside was mushy then pierce a hole and suck the mango juice out – I hated even seeing it done.
Those were the Good Ole Days my friends and talking about the good ole days that is a topic that we will talk about in time. How about bringing back the ole time days? The late Nappy Myers sang a beautiful song bearing that name. Levi Myaz (Myers) did a wonderful remake of his father’s classic; I highly recommend this masterpiece – get it, listen and reflect.





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