Monday, October 29, 2012

Another School in Poor Condition

This is how the experts at the Ministry of Works and Ministry of Education have collectively decided to deal with electrical problems at St. George's College.

The panel is overheating and the wiring is starting to burn, so they've just posted a fan there to keep things cool. Just for the while, I'm sure.

Political Patronage Continues

Stumbled across this this morning:
Prematee Ramnarine, mother of former Security Intelligence Agency (SSA) head Reshmi Ramnarine, has been promised a promotion to the post of Clerk IV at the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco)—a position that does not exist in the establishment.
Ramnarine, who has more than 25 years’ service, approached the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) last year, claiming she had been bypassed for a promotion. In a bid to bring a speedy resolution to the matter, former chairman Robert Ramsamooj agreed to enter into a voluntary conciliation mediation agreement between Namdevco and Ramnarine.
Yes, you read that right. The mother of the infamous Reshmi Ramnarine (who changed her name to Shashi Rehka last May) is now embroiled in her own employment scandal. Prematee Ramnarine was somehow promised a promotion to a Namdevco position that doesn't exist and is now in mediation to resolve the situation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Parliamentary Race Baiting

National Security Minister
Jack Warner
After a week spent neck deep in news, I don't generally bother with the local happenings much on a weekend. But, once I stumbled across this, I couldn't let it pass:
In defending Ramlogan, Warner charged that Rowley had signaled him out for "persecution" because of his ethnicity.
"It's because you have a problem with the individual," he said.
Warner questioned how come Rowley did not have "one" like him sitting on the PNM benches or going up for elections in the PNM convention which takes place today.
"They don't count. You are attacking the Attorney General because the AG represents the things you dislike," said Warner. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

B.S. in Communications

In the wake of the controversy over his ill-advised email to the Head of News for CCN, Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed has issued an apology:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Political Fatigue

National Security Minister
Jack Warner
Looks like Jack Warner really has bitten off more than he can chew...
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has instructed National Security Minister Jack Warner to get some rest.
Persad-Bissessar, speaking at a lavish fund-raising dinner by the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) on Sunday at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, said Warner had not slept in 48 hours and ordered that he not work on Monday.
"Jack Warner, you are grounded after you leave here tonight, you will go home tomorrow, I will ask other ministers to take up all your meetings, and Maureen Warner, ground him tomorrow, let him sleep because he hasn't slept in 24 to 48 hours," said Persad-Bissessar.
Sleep well Jack, because you've got lots of questions to answer when you get back.

This is not a fete

Lawrence Duprey
I imagine that the reason that Lawrence Duprey, former executive chairman of CL Financial (a company so poorly-managed and well-connected that its collapse nearly destabilized the national economy and has cost the taxpayers $21 billion) can boldly declare (in a 50 page witness statement, naturally) that he did nothing wrong while Auditor Chanka Seeterram freely admits that he cooked the HCU books to hide a $31 million loss is because this country has never prosecuted anyone for white collar crime.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Latest PP Misstep?

Communications Minister
Jamal Mohammed

Just in case you thought that the last line of my last post was a throwaway, here are the details, courtesy of TV6's Facebook page:

PP Government: Worst administration ever or evil geniuses?

So, the protests continued in East Port of Spain for the second day in a row today. For those keeping track, it was also the second day of the spectacular failure that is the People and Projects for Progress Programme - a venture that has succeeded only in being the most alliterative gimmick/make-work program that this Government has been able to come up with so far.

Few are surprised at this turn, as it would seem that one half of the population saw right through Jack Warner's attempt to buy peace in Laventille and the other half figured that it was just a matter of time before the savages flipped out again.

At the very least, most folks had to admit that Jack totally screwed up by getting involved in Laventille. He's in way over his head.

But ... What if - for a second - we give the People's Partnership Government more credit than they've ever shown the potential for deserving?

Corruption? What corruption?

"They talk of corruption in my Government and up to today they cannot give me one specific instance of corruption. They call names, they blame people, there's nothing I've seen evidence of and I promise you this—the day any evidence of corruption comes in my face I will deal with it.
"No minister will stand, no councillor will stand and no board member will stand. I've already demonstrated my commitment to transparency and accountability."
That's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, speaking at at THA election fundraiser.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blame Game

Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan
Read this Express article and cringe as the people in charge of this nation's healthcare system frantically pass the buck after a patient dies because no one at the Health Ministry, North West Regional Health Authority, or Port of Spain General Hospital could figure out how to get their hands on a cranial drill in time to save him.

I'd ask if anyone would be held responsible for such a gross failure in the public health system, but - alas - I know better.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Say what?

So the Hoop of Life program has officially been launched (to the tune of $300,000, but that's another blog post) and the Government got another chance to tout its ingenious Shaq-approved/crime-fighting measure. Of course, as Jack Warner and Anil Roberts were the ones doing the talking, you know it had to be good:

Conflict of Interest?

So... the drama with the Chaguaramas Development Authority continues as the board waits to hear who will be staying and who will be going after Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie's Cabinet note. But that's not why I'm sharing this Guardian article.

I'm sharing it because it says that TSTT Chairman Everald Snaggs is also the CDA's head of security.

PoS Flooding: A Thing of the Past?

 Environment and Water Resources
Minister Ganga Singh
In between yesterday's race baiting, Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh found time to express his plans for the end of flooding in Port of Spain:

Race Talk

On the off chance that you need more evidence of why T&T's politicians aren't worthy of their citizenry... check out what this country's leaders had to say in Senate yesterday:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Government minister declares himself "stupid"

Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed
Wait, a government minister speaking in the Senate admitted to stupidity and I missed it?

Officers under investigation after prisoner escapes for the FOURTH time

So...  a prisoner being held on murder charges manages to skip police custody for the fourth time in three years, and the T&T Police Service has finally decided that an investigation is in order...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CDA Board Members say 'It wasn't us!'

On the off chance that you (like me) have been closely following the developments of the alleged leaking of a reporter's phone records to the Chaguaramas Development Authority:

When we last left this story, TSTT had quickly declared its intention to investigate the report and the Media Association of T&T had swiftly lamented the attack on the anonymity of whistleblowers (not to mention the invasion of the reporter's privacy).

Today, we learned that two statements had also emerged from the CDA: one from the Authority and the other from seven out of its nine board members.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fed up with spin

Another incredibly apt column, this time by former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal, addressing the constant (and incredibly transparent) spin of the People's Partnership.

TSTT Responds to Allegations of a Leak

In response to yesterday's Guardian article alleging that TSTT leaked the phone records to the Chaguaramas Development Authority so that they could track down a Guardian reporter's sources, the telecommunications company had this to say:

The undoing of Jack

National Security Minister Jack Warner
(photo courtesy T&T Newsday)
This Express column by Sunity Maharaj hit the nail on the head:

Addressing the fact that Jack Warner's appointment to Cabinet is another one of this Government's biggest mistakes, Maharaj points out that he was a bad fit for public office from day one:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Private donors rescue Warriors; Sport Ministry abandons team again

The Warriors train in St Kitts & Nevis.
I am not even remotely a football fan. As a girl raised on basketball and American football, I have little patience for a game that can run 90 minutes without a single goal.

That said, I remember frenzy that the Warriors whipped T&T into in 2006 when they invaded Germany. I had only been  here about a year, and I was at work when everything stopped to listen to the game against Bahrain on the radio.

I remember heading to the window to watch Trinis flood the streets in red as they celebrated the 1-nil victory.

I remember the lavish promises made to the players who had made T&T so proud.

I remember what those promises came to.

Reporter’s phone records leaked to CDA

CDA chairman Danny Solomon

The media, flawed as it is, remains T&T's only means of discovering the shenanigans going on behind closed political doors and the People's Partnership Government, despite frequent vows to support the media, continues to try to undermine them at every turn.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Name Games

(L-R) LATT chairman Kuarlal Rampersad, CEO Leary Hosein and LATT Corporate Communicatins Coordinator Marsha Marchan

Am I to understand that the chairman and CEO of Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago called a media conference to dispel rumors about nepotism relating to a multi-million-dollar contract and they did not know the names of the people who owned Fastec, the company that received the multi-million-dollar contract?