1. Today is Wednesday 15th October, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **110,000 illegals…Griffith: We will put an end to it
    http://ift.tt/1vaUYAY /

    I am now completely convinced that Captain Wineback is a loose cannon.

    Let’s say that 110,012 are the official numbers here. Let’s add on a modest 10% for the numbers that came through Icacos and all of the other ports of entry around the country, taking our total to around 121,000.

    Wowsie says his number is 10% of the adult population, which I assume he assessed against latest (and I use that term loosely since the Central Statistical Office is shut down) CSO statistics.

    A couple days ago, Wowsie indicated that just 19,000 Jamaicans were a burden to the state to the tune of over a billion dollars annually.

    Straight line maths says that 110-120 thousand illegals takes that number to almost six billion, or around $4,300 per month each. Que?

    A question that must thus be asked then is other than deportation costs, how and on what exactly does the state spend on illegal immigrants to mount up a bill of $4,300 a month? Food cards? HDC housing? More than basic health care? Gas subsidy?

    Secondly, with an unemployment rate currently in the single digits, is Wowsie saying that the majority of these people are also gainfully employed? So we eject these people from the country as is yor aim, and we suddenly have 10-15% more jobs than we have people in the country? Before drawling, “I am the law,” and yanking at his crotch, did he check with any other agency - say, the Ministry of Labour and various Business Associations - to determine what the impact could potentially be if the workforce were so sharply reduced?

    Interestingly though, Griffith artfully skipped one question in the Express report: whether the number of illegal immigrants had increased in recent years.

    There is one other aside here. The numbers presented are stated to be “People who have overstayed their time in Trinidad and Tobago and have not yet departed”. How many of these persons are those who are in the country for work, and have been unable to regularise their Immigration status because various Immigration Offices have been closed for lengthy period due to OSH issues?

    Is Gary stroking the numbers to try to make himself look impressive?

    **Minister: Serious decisions to make on Trini ‘terrorists’
    http://ift.tt/1sdThQP /

    From the article: If there is clear evidence people have gone abroad and involved themselves in terrorist activity, then the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will have to make “very serious decisions” with respect to how to treat with such people if and when they attempt to return home, National Security Minister Gary Griffith told the Express yesterday.

    I’m a little alarmed here.

    Wineback has gone from “KICK OUT THE ILLEGALS!” to “well.. I really ent sure yet whether or not we will let people from ISIS back in yunno…”

    Seriously? Abu Bakr was charged for sedition based on a sermon. We can’t jail somebody for being actively involved in live and active terrorist activity?

    Is it that the Anti-Terrorism Act 2012 (see http://ift.tt/1vcKeCd) is so toothless? Is it that we can’t put them on a boat with the illegal immigrants that are being ejected so that they can face justice in other jurisdictions?

    **Border security critical—Griffith
    http://ift.tt/1CjnuAl /

    "Employers of migrant workers, particularly illegals, should also ensure their employees’ health statuses were safe as T&T bid to secure borders from the deadly virus, Griffith said."

    "Employers of migrant workers, particularly illegals, should also ensure…"

    "Employers of migrant workers, particularly illegals, should…"

    "Employers of… illegals… should…"

    Sooooo… employers of illegals should do what exactly, and compromise themselves in the process? Or is this something like a gun amnesty? I’m a little bit confused.

    After Wineback gets on like a Warahoon over illegals (and a thousand pardons to our indigenous community on the use of the idiomatic expression, because you ent anything like Wowsie at all), levelling accusations at employers who may not be paying National Insurance and who could be paying less than the minimum wage, Gary wants employers to monitor and report on their illegal employees?

    There is another idiomatic expression that might refer here: Soft in the head.

    **Fuad: Nobody treated for Ebola in PoS - Health Minister shoots down hospital rumours
    http://ift.tt/1vaUWZL /

    Fighting up to deal with Ebola, but no panadeine in the pharmacies to treat ChikV, dengue and their lookalike flu…

    **PRISON TURNMOIL
    http://ift.tt/1CkuXiK /
    **$100,000 for two beaten prisoners… Judge: Revamp the system
    http://ift.tt/1CjnxMH /
    **Judge: Guards should pay
    http://ift.tt/1sdTgMT /

    From the Newsday article:

    "AS HE WARNED of possible anarchy in the nation’s prisons, High Court Judge Justice Frank Seepersad yesterday accused the State of ‘abdicating its responsibilities’ by not implementing prison reforms."

    “’There has been a lot of discussion and diatribe about abuse to prisoners and implementation of mechanisms to alleviate unsatisfactory conditions within the Prison Service,’ Seepersad said, but noted that despite the talk there still exist systemic inadequacies as to implementation of these systems.”

    "The judge has also advocated a call for prisons officers to pay part or the full award of damages to prisoners who have been beaten while incarcerated, saying taxpayers were being burdened by these costs."

    This was as he delivered judgment in favour of two prisoners who were beaten by prison officers at the Golden Grove Prison in 2007.

    This comes too in the face of the fact that we have a whole ministry which is responsible for prison reform, headed in turn by a former judge, a lawyer and a deejay (who admittedly threw some nice parties in his heyday), and on the heels of the yet unresolved Prison-Gate scandal.

    "Prison-Gate", we are reminded, was the alleged scheme where lawyers colluded with prisoners and prison officials to defraud the state by claiming that prisoners were beaten by prison officers so as to claim damages, a scandal that saw the resignation of a Chief State Solicitor, and an Attorney General apparently investigating his own office and seeming exonerating himself.

    **The Highway Reroute Struggle continues with the following headlines:

    **Kublalsingh ‘rested’, ready to resume St Clair vigil
    http://ift.tt/1vaUTgy /
    **Wayne awaits today’s talks with Suruj
    http://ift.tt/1sFGwQy /
    **Mom: We don’t own land in Mon Desir
    http://ift.tt/1sFGzM5 /
    **Protesters chase highway workers
    http://ift.tt/1CjnyQQ /
    **Protesters stop work on highway
    http://ift.tt/1vaUSt5 /
    **HUNGER GAMES
    http://ift.tt/1vcKdOF /

    Newday’s caption “Hunger Games” is quite distateful. I’m disappointed.

    **Schoolgirl stabbed
    http://ift.tt/1vaUTNH /

    Schoolchildren fight. And sometimes, as in this instance, things get out of hand.

    **Days after book launch…Lee Heung dies at 93
    http://ift.tt/1r7fyw4 /

    Rest in peace, Mr. Lee Heung. Geoffrey is surely waiting for you at the gate so you can make a mas.

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  2. Today is Friday October 10th, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **Presentation College cops President’s Medal: Fifth year in a row…
    http://ift.tt/1uIs0bk /
    **…‘I am shell-shocked’
    http://ift.tt/1s1dVn1 /
    **President Medals for Presentation, SAGHS
    http://ift.tt/1w9BMRW /
    **SOLEIL, SANDEEP WIN GOLD
    http://ift.tt/1uQbupV /
    **41 Cape schols for Hillview College
    http://ift.tt/1yfpBaU /

    Congratulations to the President’s Medal winners, and to all of the other scholarship awardees announced yesterday.

    Tim, though, why so late with these again?

    **1 out of every 9 wins CAPE schol
    http://ift.tt/1sk4mlS /

    Only 4,000 students wrote CAPE examinations? Seriously? Does Tim have that number right?

    UWI St. Augustine alone took in almost 17,000 students at Undergrad level by last statistical report for 2009/10 (http://ift.tt/1qwlvlU) and enrollment seems to be growing, granted a fair portion would be from other Caribbean territories, and that’s just a fraction of new enrollment in tertiary institutions across the country.

    Given that not all of the CAPE candidates would even make it to the tertiary level, if only 4,000, where are all these other undergrads coming from?

    **PM calls on religious leaders to save hunger striker
    http://ift.tt/1uIs1fu /
    **Protestor to meet IRO today
    http://ift.tt/1uQbuGd /
    **Religious heads to meet Wayne today
    http://ift.tt/1w8w96x /

    Unfortunately, I believe we are long past the point of mediation.

    I am of the honest view that had the Prime Minister taken it upon herself to meet with Kublalsingh, even if just to tell him “no”, we would not be here today.

    As it stands, the notion that the “PM hopes they can save his life” is one I think that may be being held in vain.

    The woman can fly the country to cut ribbon on standpipes, but can’t walk outside her official office to spend five minutes talking to Kublalsingh.

    **Kublalsingh’s doctor quits
    http://ift.tt/1s1dU2y /
    **Doctor steps aside from treating him
    http://ift.tt/1w8wbeF /

    Meanwhile, Kubes might actually already be at or past the point of no return.

    **Attorney on results of UNAids poll: Way clear for PM to revisit gays issue
    http://ift.tt/1qwlsqj /

    From the article: The path is now clear for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to “very easily” go back to Parliament and amend the Equal Opportunity Act to protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. So said attorney Douglas Mendes, SC, as he addressed the media following the launch of the results of a poll done by UNAids.

    To Mendes, I have two words: Armstrong Report.

    And eight more: Why you entertaining Kamla and this referendum nonsense?

    Kamla needs no referendum. All she requires is political will and a simple majority to start the process. She doesn’t even need half the obstinacy that has been required to keep the Point Fortin Highway and other misbegotten projects going to see the start to at least decriminalisation.

    **It’s confirmed: Central man fighting in Syria
    http://ift.tt/1tgrgvx /

    Okay… And…?

    So we have confirmed once again that it have a Trini in everything. But whither next?

    Captain Wineback doesn’t even seem to know, after all his bluster in the last several days:

    "It is something we have discussed at the National Security Council and right now there are countries once it has been shown that individuals have been involved in terrorists activities and trained as terrorists they are not allowed reentry into their country. I am not saying in anyway that is what we are doing or intend to do, it is quite obvious that if persons of interest are red flagged by the international intelligence agencies and are deemed enemies of the State and it is not just a state of being monitored, but these persons prove to be a clear and present danger towards the security of the nation, there is an act with that here and terrorism so we will have to look at all the legal aspects to see what extensions we can do to ensure that persons just can’t do that and expect to come back and nothing could be done."

    **AG: State ready to speed up with Privy Council
    http://ift.tt/1tgrfHT /
    **AG: Govt offers to fast track Privy Council appeal
    http://ift.tt/1qu92PB /

    Somebody had their life flash before their eyes or something, as disingenuous as this “gesture” might seem to be?

    **It was horrific
    http://ift.tt/1qwlsGz /

    Mayhap he did.

    **Deputy CoP to officers: Don’t leave home without your guns
    http://ift.tt/1qwlvCo /

    Not sure how I feel about this.

    **Central Bank: US$50m for Christmas demand
    http://ift.tt/1v4Ak6D /

    Where is the country’s stock of earned United States dollars going?

    Why does the Central Bank have to keep pumping US dollars into the economy?

    Are local companies and foreign nationals based here not earning and depositing enough USD to support market demand?

    **Proman takes over MHTL
    http://ift.tt/1ydUtIL /

    Arguably the most valuable jewel in the CL Financial empire is now officially gone.

    Why the government continues to opt to sell off valuable CL assets on the cheap rather than run them as state-owned entities continues to be beyond me.

    O.o

    I take that back.

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  3. Today is Thursday 9th October, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **Laventille residents on bounty claim: It’s a set up
    http://ift.tt/1tFetgx /

    Let us assume that the offer of $20,000 for the life of a Police Officer was true.

    Did you know about it until the authorities went and told the country about it? Until that point, it would have been rumour and conjecture. When the National Security Directorate pick it up and went public, it became advertised for free.

    Experience has shown that the combatant with the most bluster is usually the least effective. It’s the quiet ones that you have to watch. Our very noisy National Security leadership - and I use that term lightly - really gives pause.

    Al this reward-for-reward thing has a really, really bad Wild West feel to it. If the government knows that $20,000 has been offered for the life of a Police Officer, you’re telling me that they don’t know who is paying the money?

    I call bullshit.

    **Head of Muslim organisation: 50 Trinis have left to join Isis
    http://ift.tt/1tFetgB /

    From the article: “The head of a fundamentalist Muslim organisation in Trinidad, who is considering joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), says there is no recruitment going on locally for foreign fighters for Isis. Rather, he said, Muslims from ten fundamental groups in T&T were considering joining Isis of their own free will and already close to 50 local Muslims have left T&T to join Isis by crossing the Turkish bank of the River Orontes, which is the frontier with Syria.”

    Captain Wineback ent call Amral’s or somebody to organise a charter flight yet? What are we waiting on? If, according to Wowsie, it’s an employment opportunity for young people intent on killing people, send them go, make a list, and don’t let them come back.

    **Trinis joining IS of concern says Dookeran
    http://ift.tt/1tFev87 /
    **Dookeran: Trinis in Isis a concern
    http://ift.tt/1tFev89 /

    Dookeran: “Clearly it’s a matter of interest and concern to us, but we have no evidence that has been brought to us on this matter… I have asked the Ministry of National Security to give me any thoughts on the matter so that we will monitor the situation.”

    Waffle-waffle-waffle. Nothing-nothing-nothing. Just speaking to fill space. No new action items here.

    All that said, with some 80 countries reportedly having nationals leaving their homes to go join Islamic State, why are we trying to tie panties in extra-special knots?

    **Yachties threaten pullout
    http://ift.tt/1tFewc1 /

    Meanwhile, Wowsie, this one is on you, and has impact that goes beyond National Security. The implication here though is that Immigration is horrendously corrupt. The understory is that if they are pocketing money from yachties to let them stay, are they also pocketing to turn blind eyes?

    It also means that much touted industrial development around yachts in the North-Western peninsula could be adversely affected. I have absolutely no doubt that this kind of graft has been going on before, for years. For foreigners to come to the press means, to me, that it is past annoyance, and now at the kind of breaking point that could cause demise.

    **AG IN CRASH
    http://ift.tt/1si7UUI /
    **AG, wife shaken up in accident
    http://ift.tt/1tFewc3 /

    Is this a security detail fail?

    **Ian Alleyne in hot water again
    http://ift.tt/1sk7P30 /

    Non-news. Moving on.

    **Call for more T&T-Jamaica collaboration
    http://ift.tt/1rYnza0 /

    I wish I could spend more time picking through this piece covering and address by Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams.

    In the last few years, Trinidad and Tobago has seen a heavy influx of Jamaican manpower. Thirteen Jamaicans were in the news this week reporting that they were turned back by local immigration, and I thought to myself, “tip of the iceberg.”

    We now have Jamaicans working the counter in a multitude of fast food places, working for cash in construction, and performing uniformed security work. You walk through some neighbourhoods and, in parts, you can hear the rich accents of those from rural parts of the country.

    Mind you, I am not complaining. My most pleasant fast food experience of late had been watching a middle-aged Jamaican lady handle a busy counter at Royal Castle on Independence Square, recommending less expensive combination options to some customers, upselling others, and doing all the math in her head before quickly to confirm the client’s acceptance before ringing up them up on the register.

    From a current events standpoint, this is interesting too because Ffolkes-Abrahams mentions the film industry, and this soon after a Jamaican cameraman who was here to work on a movie was assassinated in East Port of Spain.

    Historical context says that this call for partnership is incredibly ironic, given Jamaica’s insistence that they could go it alone in 1961, over considerations related to more than economics mind you, leading to the collapse of the West Indies Federation.

    All that said, as an integrationist and one who believes that the West Indies should have been one nation a long time ago, I am for this call. But we have a lot that we need to work out.

    It should not be though that economic hardship is what drives us together, but it is what it is. Forward-thinking Caribbean leaders would do well to take advantage of these types of openings, and set the region up for the future. But that requires forward-thinking Caribbean leadership.

    Have a great day, everyone.

    **BONUS CONTENT: Today is (well, yesterday was) Wednesday 8th October, 2014. This is the Round up. Two stories dominate the news this morning.

    **Wayne Kublalsingh on Day 21 of Hunger Strike
    http://ift.tt/1qdLzC5 /
    Kublalsingh defiant after 21 days of hunger: No retreat /
    http://ift.tt/1sk7P34 /
    http://ift.tt/1saNRsm /
    http://ift.tt/1qdLwpY /

    People probably watching him slight, as we say colloquially, because he is by appearances a gnashy lil’ bookworm academic. But Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh could potentially be more qualified in military strategy and tactics than your Minister of National Security, he having trained for four years at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

    And as the doctor’s body is beginning once again the fail, the Anglican and Catholic churches’ heads have called again for reason and mediation to bring an end to the impasse, as the Express calls it.

    Sat Maharaj, however, religious leader of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, has said that if Kublalsingh wants to starve himself, that’s his business.

    **Trinis in ISIS
    http://ift.tt/1saNQo7 /
    http://ift.tt/1vRL4SI /
    http://ift.tt/1vRL7he /

    "Islamic Missionaries Guild president Imtiaz Mohammed says the Government should seek international assistance to locate two men, believed to be local Muslims, who have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis)."

    Why? If they are gone, and we know who they are, and we know where they went, why are we trying to find them? To bring them back here for rehabilitation?

    Secondly, and this is one for Captain Wineback, if we know who wants to go, then simply allow them to leave. Take note of who gone, advise our foreign partners, and then just don’t let them back in. Why fight up and monitor, when their only intention is to leave?

    Unless this is now a veiled admission that leaving is not the only intention of any persons who have shown interest in IS… //

  4. Today is Tuesday 7th October, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    Rest in peace, Geoffrey Holder. Or dance forever in the throneroom of the Lord, whichever you prefer.

    **Local Muslims disturbed by Trini links to terrorists say: Isis not a way to paradise
    http://ift.tt/1s6pZ9h /

    There are people from all over the world who have opted to join the Islamic State. To quote Christopher Nolan’s Joker, “why so serious?”

    After all the meetings and concern, what’s the plan? Is it the intention to week out weak links who might find themselves on an outbound flight to the Islamic State? Are we going to try to get any Trinis who have opted to head to the Islamic State back?

    Or is it shame that we beating we body over right now, that a Trini should somehome find themselves front and centre?

    Why all the angst over a handful of people who have left our shores, when we have issues with all manner of bigotry right here at home, and that at the highest levels of government?

    **DICK DENIES ALL: Dana’s death delayed my leave
    http://ift.tt/1vKjdUd /

    I am far less concerned with the fact that a Police officer’s leave has been bought out.

    What concerns me is the fact that it has been done by the political directorate, and not through what are reportedly the properly auhtorised channels.

    **Fuad caught up in airport Ebola scare
    http://ift.tt/1vKjaI7 /

    Hopefully these false starts can lead to a refined process. I’m not worried. Yet.

    **Gary knocks Rowley’s citizen threat claim
    http://ift.tt/1uvBg2p /

    Captain Wineback is in his usual blustery mode.

    Says Wowsie, “…over 100 governments and their national security advisers took a similar stance on the global response to the Isis threat…” which isn’t true. The other 100 or so governments didn’t take it upon themselves to spearhead the initiative. We are leading an initiative where we have zero capacity to actually do so.

    Says Wowsie, “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.” Yes. And they also apply force to a degree with which we have zero capacity to respond. Case in point, the Besson Street Police Station.

    And Rowley continues to say that he never said that we shouldn’t join and support the fight. But clearly as one of the least of the apostles - we now looking for boats to protect our own shores, for crying out loud - we are in no position, morally or militarily, to lead any such charge.

    **Bharath: Rowley deliberately misleading public
    http://ift.tt/1rSQA73 /

    Squealer’s protests are beginning to wear very thin, particularly in light of reports of Government’s meeting with the Broadcasters’ and Publishers’ Association to lobby to have government adverts placed every fifteen minutes on all stations.

    **Court dismisses ILP motion
    http://ift.tt/1EmQ73E /
    **Party plans to appeal
    http://ift.tt/1vJz32J /

    && claims victory in a game that hasn’t even been played yet. Jack calls, “slips!”

    Anybody realise, by the way, that the new ILP headquarters is the former CONCACAF head office?

    **Day 20 of hunger strike: Jack makes peace with Kublalsingh
    http://ift.tt/1uUhA9P /

    Methinks, from a point of political opportunism, that Jack probably still wishes that Kublalsingh would hurry up and die. Then he will have a corpse to beat Kamla with mercilessly.

    **AG blanks expedited hearing of the HRM
    http://ift.tt/1s6IVEV /
    **AG: I won’t be held to ransom
    http://ift.tt/1vJY2BT /

    And there are no surprises here.

    There are two things that are increasingly certain:

    1. The Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Point Fortin highway will not be stopped for any reason, to the point of state-sponsored legal frustration being used to clear the path to completion.

    2. Kamla and her government will sit back and allow Dr. Kublalsingh to martyr himself.

    And to the Attorney General: time to take that chip off your shoulder. It is not you that is being “held to ransom”. You have a responsibility to hear even the voice of the disgruntled in society, because you are appointed to be responsible to all of us, not just your Cabinet’s whims and plans.

    **Loaded gun found near mosque
    http://ift.tt/1vJY5xq /

    *cut-eye at the Express*

    In the current climate, this headline might be more than a little inflammatory. After mentioning a mosque in the caption, there is no mention of a mosque in the story at all. The firearm was found “at the side of the road”.

    **$1.3m to fight CHIKV: Tunapuna/Piarco corporation taking action…
    http://ift.tt/1uTfHub /

    This is great news. One hopes that all of the corporations are doing the same.

    **Subhas to undergo open-heart surgery
    http://ift.tt/1s6loTt /

    Here’s wishing Subhas Panday a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

    **Boy, 9, dies ‘under strange circumstances’: Autopsy: Victim choked on blood
    http://ift.tt/1vJY7FI /
    **Autopsy on alleged necromancy death: Boy choked on his own blood
    http://ift.tt/1s6IWIN /

    When exactly did the Guardian become the National Enquirer? In a case involving children, allyuh really gone the route of seeding the public’s headspace with “necromancy”?

    Not touching crime news today, folks. The strangling of a mentally disabled person… Killing a man at his murdered mother’s wake… Hopefully we reach where we going and can find a way to turn back.

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  5. Today is Monday 6th October, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **Public Service Announcement: Hart Street is blocked on both ends with tents erected along its length. Taxi drivers parked on Queen Street early this morning were heard complaining that the Police did not inform them until this morning that the street would be blocked, nor were they told to what street in Port of Spain they would be moved for the day. Two routes will be directly affected - St. James and St. Ann’s. The loss of a major arterial street in Port of Spain is likely to affect traffic in the downtown area as well. Please be guided.

    ** LET GOOD SENSE PREVAIL: Wayne’s wife pleads with PM to meet HRM
    http://ift.tt/1uP8rPO /
    **‘I am not in favour of hunger strikes’
    http://ift.tt/1xfxDND /

    The wife of Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh has written to the Prime Minister via the press, appealing to Kamla to be reasonable.

    Kamla has proven that she is not reasonable. She will likely allow Dr. Kublalsingh to die.

    **Persuade PM on my behalf: Dookeran can’t get Wayne to end strike
    http://ift.tt/1s2RH6T /

    Gallant effort perhaps, but at this stage, Dookeran should have expected this bouff.

    **Trinis surface in Isis videos
    http://ift.tt/1q0hzJR /

    Trinis, like New Yorkers, are like salt. For good or bad, there is a link back to Trinidad in just about every major event worldwide, even if just by conjecture as in this case. It appears a fact of our existence that we are “frontish” in that way.

    I exclude Tobago here deliberately.

    **No need to attract Isis eyes on T&T
    http://ift.tt/1rQmJw7 /

    All that said - following from the previous story - questions remain about the Prime Minister’s rush to co-sponsor the UN resolution against Islamic State.

    We are at a point in our existence where the government is still only talking about acquiring foreign-used equipment - boats, vehicles and Lord alone knows what else - in order to protect us on sea and land.

    We have taken in front and opened new ports without the capability to protect them.

    We have seen recently the first open attack on a Police station since 1990 by elements from which faction we still do not know.

    We are clearly unable to handle domestic security.

    Why has the Prime Minister gone and sought the notice of a bad ass so big that tension between enemies worldwide has suddenly disappeared because EVERYBODY recognises themselves to be at risk?

    Before some get on their high horses and say that I feel that Trinidad and Tobago is “too small” to take front on global matters, let me say categorically that this is not the case.

    Kamla also has been front on a UN resolution re gun control, one where I believe we are uniquely placed to contribute and lead because of the incredible strength of our firearm regulations here in Trinidad and Tobago. On this resolution, I support our championing wholeheartedly.

    But we have nothing to offer in the fight against ISIS. Nought. Zilch. Nada.

    We have neighbouring Venezuela detaining our citizens on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity.

    We can’t even glibly say that we have experience dealing with and striking down “religious extremists” in our country, for obvious reasons. (Dooks and Emmanuel Carter, where allyuh?)

    The prayerful among us may possibly now only resort at this time to asking for Divinity’s cover. After Special Branch and the politicos get their armoured vehicles and batten down in personal fortresses, it’s the rest of us to catch.

    **JEALOUSY AT THE CENTRE OF FIRE
    http://ift.tt/ZlNhLU /
    **‘Strange’ death baffles cops: Post mortem on 9-year-old boy’s body today
    http://ift.tt/1xfxB8l /

    There is far more to this story. If every youngster acted like this - burning siblings and contemplating doing further damage - on account of teenage angst, the population of the country would be significantly smaller.

    And of course, now the post mortem into the events will begin.

    Could anything have been done to help the alleged arsonist and murderer to prevent this tragic event from occurring? Could a school counsellor have picked up signs of trouble? Could Childline in its original incarnation have helped the youngster talk through her problems? What else is going on in this child’s life that could have caused her to reach this point?

    Where is the much vaunted Children’s Task Force? Will Kamla take time out of busy schedule to make a turn in Longdenville to visit the family, with press cameras in tow?

    Can the authorities help the child now? Or will she simply enter the maelstrom that is our criminal justice system, possibly never to return to any semblance of normalcy?

    **$1 million allocated in last budget but Heritage site in shambles
    http://ift.tt/1s2REYI /

    Considering the state and treatment of more contemporary historical sites, colour me unsurprised by this.

    The Red House remains hoarded up after an archaeological site was found beneath its foundation. The Government having found more comfortable quarters in Tower D appears to have turned its back on the original and historical seat of Parliament.

    President’s House is still in shambles, and the roof has now been removed from one of the guard huts as well, leaving the interior of the building exposed.

    It took a private body to restore the Gingerbread House around the Queen’s Park Savannah. Ironically that same body has apparently bought and tore down the neighbouring art deco structure belonging to one of the country’s “first families”, and levelled it to pave a car park.

    Greyfriars, the original home of the Church of Scotland in Trinidad and Tobago, has passed into private hands as well. And we wait with bated breath to see whether this landmark will be torn down.

    It comes as no surprise therefore that more distant history has seen even less respect.

    Truth be told, given that the line Minister’s view of world history may be discordant with the site’s reported age…

    Add to that the fact that the site is close to the path of disputed section of the Point Fortin Highway, there may be reason for official disregard.

    **Preserving historic Engine No 11…47 years of neglect, attacks by vandals
    http://ift.tt/1ur7BHR /

    All is not lost re the preservation of the nation’s heritage though.

    **Sando police stage sick-out for $$ owed
    http://ift.tt/10Dh9Ej /

    But all is not well in the City of San Fernando.

    "San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein said… the corporation has not been receiving the additional money from the Ministry of National Security hence the reason they could not be given that allowance."

    Yesterday, the press reported that Cabinet had taken decision - behind the back of the Ag. Commissioner of Police - to buy out the leave of several officers, including those of Special Branch Officers attached to the Prime Minister’s security detail.

    If Cabinet could agree further to pay the Police this $1,000 per month allowance, why not also ensure that it is paid to all officers as required?

    **‘Cabinet running Police Service’
    http://ift.tt/1vEoOf1 /

    The implications here - of a Police force beholden to politicians - are not good.

    **Govt denies Rowley’s election spending claim
    http://ift.tt/1vEoM6L /

    Yeah, Squealer. We believe you. The nation needs to see advertisements that repeat headlines of newspaper articles that appear to laud the national budget, that tell lies about water supply and opening of box drains, that tell us that 50% of national revenue comes from oil and gas, and that show us Kemlr beating she body all over New York and Florida.

    I will believe you the first time I see an advert that tell me how exactly to go about verifying that my National Insurance contributions are correct, to ensure that I can collect my pension on retirement.

    **EMA under fire months after oil spills- Residents still suffering—MP
    http://ift.tt/1s2RFf0 /
    **WASA to test ‘salty’ tap water
    http://ift.tt/1vEoKMd /

    And while the government spends money to advertise all the great things that they are doing, there’s this.

    **Nipdec blanks Joint Select Committee
    http://ift.tt/1vEoLzQ /

    NIPDEC’s official and legally supported stance might easily be summarised as follows:

    "I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself."

    Whatever happened to transparency and accountability? I guess that remains in the same place as some politicos’ gonads.

    Have a great day, everyone. //