Of taxpayers and Clico

If Clico is making money we should be happy, they should be happy, and pay back the government.

Who is your leader?  Ask this question to taxpayers and they may answer anything or anyone or no one.  Ask it to the Prime Minister and he seems sure he is.  In a recent Post Cabinet Press Conference ( I don’t look at many but viewed this one) the PM without a doubt declared himself as the defender of public interest and pulled out all the stops to inform taxpayers of same with regard to “their money” and CLICO.

So why was government silent over the past fortnight or so before the PM spoke, simply because this government seems (painfully so at times) to give regard to court matters and the consideration of due process.

In case you missed it here is my review/analysis…with commentary.

Just so that you clear from the start Clico/CLF/CL Financial or whatever you want to call it (I will use CLICO) are private entities operated to make profits for the benefit of their stakeholders.  FACT

They came to Government aka tax payers (we the people) for financial help frequently referred to as a bail out. FACT (in case you not sure taxpayer = you and me/we)

Since they borrow the only money we get back (2 payments) is:

  1. A payment from the sale of one of the Methanol Plant – 7.5 billion
  2. A Payment of approx. 500 million from Angostura

Both payment evidently by VAPS and not by, through or from any structured payback plan.  The first one because of the courts the second via a discovery that some mystery company (CC World Brands) where profits from Angostura were going. (Never mind they are PART owners who were “claiming” FULL ownership and wanting ALL profits).

Then…then in the middle of all of this they attempt to pull the ole stuff the Board trick. How does this work.  If you have a Board of 12 whom you feel you can’t control or fire appoint another 12.  Yes it seems Clico try that on we.

Since our taxpayers money jumping up (3 years and 5 billion was the original bail out and Government was on the Board as part of the deal) the agreement of bail out has been extended 17 times, and the government has always had Board interest and oversight.  All of a sudden they (CLICO interests et al) do not want to extend the agreement for same it seems.

Evidently one Prof. Watson (a gentleman I know and respect…not because of this pronouncement) says it/Clico was a Ponzi – and all who invest should stand your loss.  In other development along the way our government has made a further 11 billion tax payers injection WITH NO INTEREST.

So what is the current debt? Approx 23 billion

What are the CLICO books saying or what have they been saying over the period.  Past and present Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors should answer.

What the Prime Minister did say in not as any words is that there will be no dereliction of duty by the current Government.

Face with declining revenue from Oil and Gas and declining people on the streets for carnival somebody have to mind we business.  Moody’s will want to know how we plan to recover that debt.  Take them to court?  Yes. This is about Trinidad and Tobago, our economic well-being and tax payers.   Should a private company trump the tax payer for taxpayers money?  It’s a hard question and no single individual can or should have to answer.  Civilization has progressed based on many versions of arbitrators whom we surrender out trust and sovereignty to.

The time sometimes never seems right, but now is always the time.  Now for the government to see about the business of the people, business of the taxpayer, that is you and me.  If you borrow you must have a payback plan or the bailiff comes.  That is my reality.  Tell us then how you plan to pay back the government the money you borrow so that we don’t have to borrow from the IMF.

If Clico is making money we should be happy, they should be happy, and pay back the government. If not then the route of the provisional liquidator who will be an agent of the court – Not of the Government has to be explored to determine the best way forward.

And yes.  I have an annuity with CLICO.

No Malice, No Conspiracy, No Avarice.

Note:  I am open to comment or correction.

Bourdain ain’t one. We got 99 Problems

In a year when the patriarch Sabga-Aboud figure passed away he would be and they should be proud.  The show was unquestionable proof that this is Carib Country.

In the Year we are giving a Public Holiday recognizing our Amerindian Ancestry (First Peoples) it is sad that there was so much Caribs and yet not a Carib.  Let’s as a people make sure and do this right when the time comes.  Bourdain eh do it and he eh go do it for we.

Was this a linear historical story? No it was not.  Thus many a cry of exclusion I do not understand.

Here is what you saw sequentially.

  1. Intro: La Shaun Prescott (Liming and Wining) having some savannah soul food.
  2. Kim Johnson (Pan) with some corn soup.
  3. Doubles
  4. Indian “Boy’s” River Lime, with Curry Duck and Buss-up shut.
  5. A Quasi-Parang interlude (man singing Trinidad is Nice in the middle ah the river lime) felt kinda off to me.
  6. Syrian Segment (Grey Goose and Coconut water and their respective dishes. Kibi etc)
  7. Crime with Mark Bassant
  8. Coup/Mudd and Music (Red Snapper/Fish, Oil Down, Pastelle)
  9. Industrialisation/ Kalinda/Stick Fight – Souse
  10. Tobago – Crab and dumpling.

Here is what I saw:

  1. 2:08 Seconds Audio “copious drinking” Visual – Stag looking bottle
  2. La Shaun and Bourdain drinking Carib
  3. Kim and Bourdain drinking Stag
  4. Doubles with an Apple J
  5. River lime with real plenty Carib and 1824
  6. Mention of Grey Goose and Coconut water.
  7. Mark Bassant and Bourdain drinking Carib amid a plethora of Carib advertisements and branding.
  8. Thanks Mudd for the Juice
  9. Bourdain drinking Carib by himself in Tobago with Rose.
  10. FOR THE WINNER at 40:27 (time-slot) the man refilling the Caribs actually make it into the video.

What allyu think, the whole thing paid for itself? Anyway…

I have a kinda bitter sweet feeling that me and my friend who eat in KFC did not make the cut while those who eat by the River or on a Big Patio did.   Get a grip people (no race talk here), just saying I come from African Ancestry and communal eating with extended family is a norm.   That is my truth and I don’t need Bourdain to tell it. Yes, I really value sharing of a meal and the imagery and messages that it sends.  Have to thank Mudd and granny for re-presenting here as well.

I like how Kind David, the stick man moves between the native twang and the Bourdain twang “igotta”.  It’s a thing Trinis do so naturally.

I found the whole thing to be a bit male oriented and want to also thank La Shaun and Rose for re-presenting some of our Truth.

Some strong female images in the Tobago segment were pleasing.  back-ups, bathers.  Trinidad (meaning Trinidad and Tobago) is “oman’ too.

I have work alongside Muhammad Muwakil and if ever there was a brother to be grounded or grounding with he is one.  “Let’s Build a Nation”.  Let all ah we sit around the table and eat ah food.

Of the many issues we currently face this show ain’t one.  Super G out.

 

A positive plan to fork up the land – Agriculture

This plan is sow for cane good.  If i may say so myself.

This is fact not fiction, allyu eh wah nothing with me when it comes to going for cane. Yea you might not believe it but I am somewhat of professional. There are even some ladies who can attest to this (of course I will not call names) and being the bright spark that I am I will prove how for cane good I am without exposing the names of lady accomplices. I will call some partners though and give you an idea as to when and where I gained this for cane experience.

You see I grew up between Hassarath Road Cunupia and Chin Chin Road Cunupia, in case you do not know these are two area deep deep deep in the sugar belt. One ah my primary school mates is a lawyer for the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Union. Member of Parliament Rudranath Indarsing (former leader of said union) is my personal friend. I was there in Balmain Couva, when they (All Trinidad Sugar and general Workers Union) made a coffin for Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj (working media).

The Caroni 1975 yellow jeep run me down several times and catch me once for cane. Long time there use to be a ceremonial opening of the cane cutting season, I was there “5, 5, 5, in the morning” (dais ah ole stickfighting chant) on more than one occasion ( working media). So I hope allyu could now believe how for cane good I am.

So what’s up with the ole Caroni 1975 or and modern version of it.  And though Caroni 1975 is viewed as some people business, I feel If I so for cane good, I could say something. For starters I believe in Caroni 1975 (or whatevr remains of it) as potential waiting to be explored and well if you disagree with me you would be speaking gobar. (Cow pat or cow dung, manure, fertilizer etc.)

Sooooooooooo here is an idea which could put some real gobar into agriculture, foster some unity, help crime, reduce foreign food import, facilitate prisoner re-integration into society, and even still offer some latitude for some political gobar. Lets say we take the Caroni 1975 land and find all the remaining workers, who have rights to the land, or interest in it.

Lets say we call them “Managers” yes ah big word. Lets say we get all the incarcerated prisoners who are able-bodied and call them “Farm or Agriculture workers”. Let’s say when they enter prison they are mandated to (since they have so much spare time) learn (attend classes) about any given field of agriculture or farming that is possible in Trinidad (on said Caroni land) for a year”.

Oh why Caroni land? Well because it fertile, accessible, proven, tilled, etc etc.

After that year of learning let’s make it mandatory that they (prisoners) work in the agriculture or farming area that they chose to learn (on state land). Lets say these farms are managed by the Ex-Caroni workers. Lets say neither Managers or workers have right to transfer the land. The proceeds (crops, livestock etc) is bought by government, for export or local market according to quality.

The proceeds are used the pay the managers, and workers. In the case of the workers money will be paid to a bank account in their name (made available when the finish their prison term). The workers can work for their period of incarceration, and once free can opt to continue to work. Once they stop working or pass away, someone new enters the system. The least we could have is more home and kitchen gardens in hotspots if they stop working. The most, employment, food, reduced crime, wealth, unity, productivity, economic growth and the list goes on.

With just the power of the pen I have made a not so for cane good story into a masterpiece. Now who to address this letter to:  Clarry, Rudy, the Project Manager, or maybe I should just go for

In the name of the Father

If you went to bed last night with one child somewhere in the universe, that you have been responsible for, then you are a father. It may be a child you fathered (sperm donor) or a child you fathered (supervision or support donor).

If you woke up this morning and you had nothing to give that child or that child gave you nothing, guess what, you are still a father. If the mother of that child woke up this morning and gave you nothing and did nothing for you, guess what, you are still a father. If your father or mother does not call you or does nothing for you today, guess what, you are still a father.

If you get up this morning and your smart phone does not make a sound from whatsapp or Facebook, or twitter or snapchat or instagram or from a text message, FROM yuh CHILD, guess what, you are still a father. If the car have no gas, or there is no car, no stove, no fridge cause it conk out, no washing machine, no dryer, no meat, no corned beef, peanut butter, bread, BUT yuh have a CHILD guess what, you are a father.

If your woman leave yuh, you children leave yuh, yuh dog leave yuh, your cyat leave yuh, yuh rat leave yuh, guess what, you are still a father. If you HAVE a CHILD, but yuh foot cut off or yuh foot cyar stand up (double entendre) you are still a father.

If yuh thought you was put here to reproduce and you have been sowing your seeds like if you auditioning for the title of father of the nation and you not, or you trying to be the father of a nation and you should not, guess what, ONCE yuh have ah CHILD, you are still a father.

If you taking young boys and trying to make them men, but they not living to be men, yea, some people might not agree, but you are still a father or as the say “faddah”. If you killing young boys and depriving them of being fathers, yes, you are still a father or as they say “faddah”. Even not to father is fathering, sad but true.  They are whom Fr. Harvey was referring to.

Many a father do not realize that in their absence they are being as much a father as in their presence, or is it the other way around? There are men who have never been a sperm donor but are father’s.   They walking right amongst us.

You think I lieing, as it was (said) in the beginning (of this piece), “If you went to bed last night with one child somewhere in the universe you are a father. It may be a child you fathered (sperm donor) or a child you fathered (supervision or support donor)”. If you think I lieing, ask God, whatever you call him, wherever he is, whomever you perceive him to be. Ent wherever you are and whoever you are he is your father, THE FATHER. No matter how long you eh see him, you does call him when you need. He doh always answer when you want or how you want, but you dey living in hope, on a prayer. Just like with yuh father.

If you went to bed last night…….as “father” and you wake up “in the name of the father” then all that is not can still become. There is no ideal condition, time, place, age, location, position (economic or sexual) to become a father (although I have heard many a hypothesis about the sexual position thing). The father success stories may not all be publicly told ( we are a shy bunch), but the world is replete with examples of boy’s, men, fathers, who have triumphed in any and all circumstances. Men… lets find them, be them.

To my father, father’s, mother, brothers, sisters, Mom, Stumpy, the Barber Shop Crew and all those who have fathered me I say thanks. It takes nothing and everything to be a father.

Happy Father’s Day

Jude denies Father Harvey

1 The big, black, local Roman Catholic Priest. The emphasis here is on Catholic. Yes, I was a good Roman Catholic a long time ago and attended a Catholic School (Secondary) for seven (7) years. Some part of my life has to be attributed to the Roman Catholic influence.  God bless my paternal grandmother who wrote text from the Daily Missal on the outside wall of the house and had a permanent Alpha and Omega in the yard.  Don’t judge me.

I remember D.V, my school principal and a Roman Catholic Priest. Thanks to him for helping me through Form 5 – 6. I remember Fr Harris, then parish priest at Holy Trinity Church, he is now Archbishop. He was parish priest when I did First Communion and Confirmation. I remember Gregory Augustine now a priest and Fatima Principal, then head of Confirmation at Holy Trinity Church. I remember the legacy of the Pantin brothers, Archbishop (one of them) and Servol (the other).

I also remember the romanticism of the idea by many a Catholic that one day there would be a black Archbishop in Port of Spain.

  • But Fr Harvey (The big, black, local Roman Catholic Priest ) – No, I do not know him (1st denial)

2. Sometime in 2011, a Roman Catholic priest got the Hummingbird Gold for “loyal and devoted service to the country”. His name was Father Clyde Harvey.

  • But Fr Harvey (The Patriot) – No, I do not know him (2nd denial)

3. T.T.D.C (Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission) Member – Fr Clyde Harvey (2015). He is Chairman of Community Intervention for Transformation and Empowerment, South AIDS Support and the Morris Marshall Development Foundation. In other words, he works with T.T.D.C to develop our frail democracy (dais a big word – democracy) and he works in hot spots and with persons less fortunate than most.

  • But Fr Harvey (The Nationalist) No, I do not know (3rd denial)

I really do not know him so like Peter, this Jude might I add Benedict (yes, two Catholic names) denying him. While I don’t know him, I know of him. My question: Do you expect a gun toting youth between the age of 16 – 30 to know of him, to know him or to respect him enough not to rob him for 30 pieces of silver (or 50k ransom in 2017).

  1. You think they Catholic (meaning they have a fear of God)? Or that because he big, black, local or Catholic makes a difference?
  2. You think they patriotic, have some sense of self and country? You think they care about a Hummingbird award or if it gold? Gold yes, maybe if he was wearing it as a chain.
  3. They may be citizens but you think they nationalistic. They know about the T.T.D.C? It pains me because I think they should know about his work in their community and other communities similar to theirs but clearly they do not or did not care.

You see in this democracy numeracy and literacy free because of free education.  In this democracy that sometimes socialist and welfare like because the state does so many thing to take care of citizens.  In this democracy where long time is not long time. Religion, patriotism, and nationalism seem to be the relics of the movement for Independence, and we don’t own our Republic, this Republic.

In this democracy fellas age 16-30 dying every day as they perpetrate criminal acts or someone perpetrates a reprisal on them for a criminal act or less.   You seeing the “value” proposition?

Most of us don’t know Father Harvey but we know of him because our literacy and numeracy is our own.  We continue to read about them “the little black boys” as they do what they feel is necessary for their literacy and numeracy.  You reading express and counting your salary.   They reading your movements and counting your salary.

There is a script though, in fact several scripts that have captured our imagination and the imagination of our parents.  The Independence Script, The Republic Script, The Black Power Script.  These scripts were not necessarily and need not be written by government for the people.  It could be written by government with the people, or by the people and for the people with the government.

Who is working on the current script?  Not King James.  What is our real/perceived/present/future value proposition as trinis? Who needs to work on our script?  We all do.  Thanks to all of you for taking care of your own, so that you are not hanging your head in shame for the Act committed on Fr. Harvey.  Thank you for knowing him or of him, for the empathy or sympathy.  Who do we have to thank for those who denied him?   Peter? Judas? Jude? We?

In this democracy we are the government, we are the opposition, we are the patriots, we are the nationalists, we are the priests, we are the bandits and we are the victims.  We allplaying a role.  In the words of Bro Valentino’s Calypso “life is a stage and we are the actors, everyone has a part to play”.   We can’t wait for the play to unfold, but act to change the script.

Have a bless Corpus Christi.  Plant something for the future.

FORWARD

I am grateful for encouragers that discourage and discouragers that encourage. Thanks for having the courage to step to me. I may not always take you on, but I grateful.

I am grateful for the people who have blind faith in me. I think they must know God, because so many times I don’t have faith in myself, and God helps me.

I am grateful that though I know God, and I know people who know God, I don’t ever try to play God.

I am grateful for my education, 50% academic and 50% street cred.

I am grateful for my brothers, the men folk who I look to for the head nod, blood brothers, spiritual brothers, material brothers, worldly brothers, beers brothers, father brothers.

I am grateful that I can spell grateful. I could not spell it when I was younger and thought it was a stupid word. I still think it is a stupid word and should be “great-full”.

I am grateful for my healthy fear of God, which has enabled me to walk by faith and not by sight, to know when to run and when to fight, but most important, when to surrender everything

I am grateful for my talent, the known and unknown, the skills that have allowed me to have impact on people and things.

I am grateful for all the women who have been in my life, who have taught me invaluable negotiation skills. Skills which have equipped me for this journey.

I am grateful for my elders (dead and alive) and ancestors, who willingly and unwillingly have made me who EYE am.

I am grateful for Music. “one good thing about music when it hits you you feel no pain”. God know how many times Buju and Bob or a DJ has saved my life.

I am grateful for every single thing that I have achieved so far. Compared to some I maxed out already. nevertheless…. FORWARD

GOGOTOXIN 

LIFE is so funny, sometimes in two two’s, or in 201, or in two pull, if you just make SPORT, you could find yourself Emancipated and asking yourself WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? But that’s not why we here today. We here to discuss medical matters, the epidemic with no cure that continues to threaten our very existence.

SARS – no, H1N1 – no, Anthrax – no, swine flu- no, Mad Cow – no, HIV/AIDS – no. What then? GOGOTOXIN. Don’t Google this one you won’t find it, if you really want to know is a chick called Leslie-Ann. Is she who give me this one (the concept) ah long time ago and I now realize how entrenched it is in our society, this thing worse than gang related activity.

What is gogotoxin you ask?…well it occurs when a nerve in your eye crosses with a nerve in your arse and you have a shitty outlook on life. The cure, none, the symptoms many, the stages two, stage one and stage four. You move very quickly from one to four and death (physically, mentally, spiritually or otherwise) is almost guaranteed.

In men. In men in Trinidad and Tobago gogotoxin seems to be in “high risk areas” and among young black males. It is characterized by low value for life and high value for material things in stage one (gold, sneakers, brand name clothing). In the incubation period, there is a feeling that one should have all nice things in life and should not have to work too hard for it. This is accompanied by a feeling that those who have nice thing did not work hard for it, and should be easily relieved of these nice things.

Stage four is characterized by seeing “ghosts” ( a modern terminology for killing people) the ghosts of the persons you would have relieved of their life and property. This stage is accompanied by the feeling that these ghosts are harmless and incapable of relieving you of your life and property or making you a ghost. (The vicious cycle of life and or the vengeance of “Moko” usually result in the young men also becoming young models for coffins/”ghosts”

In women. In women stage one is sometimes characterized by the belief that licks equal love, that if he beats me because he likes me, that the more accessories and or worldly things one has equals the more beautiful one is “more bling”. In the incubation period, there is a lot of incubation and a belief that having a baby, equals having a man, and that having a man means having more babies, and that losing a man equals having another baby for another man.  Yes Trinidad this is a part of our reality.

Stage four. Stage four could be characterized by having about four children for about three different men, but not having a desire or capacity (mental or psychological not physical) to work an 8 to 4.

Other General Symptoms: guns, bullets, expensive sneakers, marijuana, cocaine, gangs, police, prison, close encounters with death, closer encounters with death, and death itself, abuse, violence, teardrop tattoos, large earring, scars, frequent funerals, videos of violence on your phone, pictures of victims on your phone, and good boys (who never interfere with anybody or was never in nothing) as your most recent dead relative.

Before you judge me for judging, judge me for saying what is very true for some people who you will see if you look out your window right now. People who we see, but don’t see, until we hear…..People whom I care for, have cared for, who I seek to help, whom I have advised, directed, assisted, taught and counselled.

Soooooooooooooooooooooo on the eve of emancipation how do we stop this disease, can we stop it? Yes we can, but not now. No immediate cure, no shot that can fix it. No doctor, no research, no priest, politician, pundit, or bush doctor.

Me and You though, WE can stop it, over time. Yea, help them take their eyes out of their arse, the small ones, the medium ones, and the big ones. Let their eyes and their sense of the I be seen in the WE, no, not the Wii, but the WE. The we who pay taxes, buy books and bury them, the WE that is family, community, village and nation. If you don’t know anyone with gogotoxin then you may already have the cure, but what are you doing with the vial that you holding in your hand or in your mind. Help them emancipate themselves…

july 31st 2014