I’ve never considered Stephan Pastis, the author of the comic “Pearls Before Swine”, to be much of a philosopher, but this one from the 23rd of December 2007 really got me.

It just made so much freaking sense!

New Year, Same Shit…

The new year has come, but besides trying to remember to now write 2008 instead of 2007, nothing has changed.

The murder rate has started with a nice even figure of four for the year, so we are have started on the way of setting a new record. The assistant commissioner of police is trying to dispute the murder figure of 396 by saying the newspapers have it wrong and that if we take away the manslaughter figures you end up with 384. Phew! What a big difference that makes; that figure makes everything okay now. Oh for fuck’s sake, accept that you didn’t do your fucking job and do something about it. This trying to smooth everything to make it sound better may fool some of he people, but believe me, people are getting real fed up of the shit.

So this year what would I like to see:

  • Better police enforcement from to smallest crime up. So charge the PH drivers, the CD and DVD pirates and the litterers. Working to ensure the lawlessness stops will help.
  • A more efficient judicial system. This thing about waiting years for the trial to start have to end. By the time trial starts you can’t find the witnesses or people memories get fuzzy; heck my mind gets fuzzy after a week far worse for two or three years.
  • The enforcement of the death penalty. Contrary to what many people are saying, there can be no return of the death penalty because it never went anywhere. It is still the highest form of capital punishment and it is required by law that a person convicted of first degree murder be sentenced to death; it just has not been enforced.
  • A stronger agricultural sector. For a small country like ours, with many families starting out with farming and agriculture, should not have to paying through our nose for produce far less having to import food. Come on people, we will not be able to eat bricks and drink oil to survive.
  • Government spending our money wisely. While I will quicker see Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny playing poker at the Tooth Fairy’s house than see the government of Trinidad and Tobago manage the country’s finances effectively and efficiently, I will still wish it.
  • People having a better understanding and appreciation of the environment. Once they do, they would understand why we need to do all we can to protect it.
  • People learning to respect all life and not see other animals as “dumb”
    or “lower”. I’m pretty sure that if aliens were to come down here and
    treat us like how we treat other animals, we won’t like it.
  • People just being more courteous to each other. I think this will solve a lot of our problems.

While I don’t expect these things to happen, I can always hold on to the belief that it can. And maybe I can also convince myself and a few others than they can help cause these things to happen. Whoa, what a wonderful thing that will be.

The IEEE T&T Joint Computer and Communications Society Chapter

The IEEE has a Trinidad and Tobago Section of which we are trying to get a Joint Computer and Communications Society Chapter up and running. We already petitioned and got permission from the IEEE to form the chapter about a year ago, but have been unable to get the other aspects working. So I have now taken that up to get the inner parts working – getting an executive, members active, etc., etc.

Trying to get people involved is proving to be difficult, but I still have high hopes. I am hoping that it is the season that is affecting everything – Christmas is a bad time to try to get anything done down here.

We have a large number of members, so it is just for them to get actively involved. Let’s see how it pans out for the new year.

The Breathalyser is coming!

I had the opportunity of seeing and using the breathalyser recently. It was quite easy to use and easy to understand. The officer (I can’t remember his name) was quite helpful and gave a pretty good presentation of the product, not to mention  displayed good product knowledge. What I can’t understand is why it hasn’t been introduced as yet.

What the officer explained was that while it has been passed, it has not been assented to in law (at least I believe that is the term). For sure we need this product in this country, especially for the Christmas and Carnival seasons. I could only imagine how many people will be caught using this product.

Here are a few things to note:

  • Mints will not help you to pass the breathalyser test. It may cover the smell, but the alcohol on your breath comes from your lungs and is not covered up.
  • Using mouthwash just before the test as an excuse will not save you. If you use mouthwash and the test reads high (which it will), you will be placed in the back of a police vehicle for the most ten minutes. During this time, the mouthwash would dissipate, and the reading should be low; if the reading is high, it means you are drunk.
  • More than two beers can bring you over the limit; it all depends on your size and gender (men are less affected that women).
  • Water helps. Drinks lots of water while drinking to help rid your body of excess alcohol.

In all I do hope they bring this out soon, but I can see a huge culture clash when it does come out. We are a nation of drinkers and it is especially expected during the Christmas and carnival season. It will take both a change in culture and a great deal of police enforcement.

Civic duty once again

“A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”

Robert Frost

I come home today after a hard day’s work and what do I find, a “Summons to Jurors” – Jury Duty. So now I have to report for jury duty from December 3rd, the peak of the Christmas season. Shit!

The real jokey thing about this is that I only got my Vacation approved today for two weeks… from the 3rd December.

Now I am all for doing my civic duty, but I really could have done without this at this time of the year. Also I wanted to do some other Cisco Certification exams before the end of the year. Unfortunately, I doubt that those certification exams would count for anything to get me off of service.

I only hope that I am not sequestered for this thing.

Think you can hide?

SecurityDude has an interesting blog about how easy it is to get background information on people in the US. If you live in the US, it is interesting what information they can get on you.

  • Find out where you live?
  • Get satellite pictures of your home?
  • Determine the value of your home and how much you pay in property taxes?
  • Get a list of all of the places you have lived in the last 20+ years?
  • Find out your age, and the name/age of your spouse?
  • Obtain a list of your criminal convictions in every state?

Wow! No wonder there are so many paranoid people in the US. I have to say it kinda makes you happy to live in Trinidad and Tobago. So I guess it can be a good thing to be living in a backward country like this. Yes, it means I can’t find out whether that new employee is really a sick fuck, but it also means that others can’t find out whether I am a sick fuck.

The spree has begun

So the new ministers are out on a week-long retreat to the Salybia Beach Resort and Spa before they take up their official duties so that they can “hit the ground running”. Not only did they book the entire resort for the week, but also the two other residences at the sides. You can be sure that this is not petty money being spent for this “retreat”. The TnT Mirror has that the cost is about $800,000 TT – I’m pretty sure that it is more than than. I certainly don’t think they are eating cheese and bread up there, more like steak and lobster.

So who is the biggest earner in this, none other than the PNM’s Roger Boynes, part owner of the the Salybia Beach Resort (his the brother Ronald is also an owner). Well the PNM needs to repay their financiers somehow.

The Prime Minister says that the ‘Retreat first of many‘. You can bet not only that, but spending our money as well. They have many other financiers to repay, and with the many other “projects” that they have planned, I expect some serious bobol to take place.

10 Career Killers to Avoid

Network World has an interesting article by Thomas Hoffman that I thought would be good to share. It’s called 10 career killers to avoid.

To quickly summarise, here is the quick list:

  1. Failing to have a life plan.
  2. Not keeping your skills current.
  3. Failing to deliver results.
  4. Confusing efficiency with effectiveness.
  5. Believing that you are irreplaceable.
  6. Knowing all the answers.
  7. Surrounding yourself with “brown-nosers.”
  8. Forgetting to give credit to others.
  9. Failing to self-promote.
  10. Losing perspective.

I know I am guilty of numbers 2, 9 and 10, so I guess that I have some work to do.

Check out the list at the link above and get a clue.

The new cabinet

Prime Minister Patrick Manning has installed his new cabinet this week – “Woman Power” one newspaper article calls it. Now I don’t mind women in cabinet, once they actually have the skills to perform the duties that are required. Let’s look at two of them – Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira and Attorney-General Brigid Annisette-George.

Nunez-Tesheira is an Attorney-at-law and admits she has little or no experience in the field of finance, “save the work she did in the handling funds as vice-principal of the Hugh Wooding Law School.” She says that she is ready for the challenge, as she puts it:

“It’s challenging. I love a challenge and I look forward to doing my best. It’s a new territory for me but I look forward to learning and more learning.”

Further she says:

“I was glad it was not law, I did want to move away from that…I feel honoured”

Good to know that running the country’s finances is going to be a learning process for you Nunez-Tesheira, as well as a good start for that job change you were looking for. I strongly believe that on-the-job training is an important part in everyone’s education, BUT NOT WHEN RUNNING THE COUNTRY! Oh geez and ages! What is wrong with these fucking people. And what was Manning’s comment:

“Well, when I became Minister of Finance, I had no experience.”

Way to instill confidence in the people dey Patos. As for the Attorney-General, well she told reporters that she had had a private practice specialising in civil and matrimonial law, conveyancing and probate. “She admitted that it would be challenging, but she was prepared to do her best.

It is good that we have new cabinet members who are looking for a “challenge”. Let’s hope that they are up for it.

As for the other members; well there are some old faces but most notably, two of the most fucked up choices –  Colm Imbert, Minister of Works and Transport and Martin Joseph, Minister of National Security. These are two of the worst Ministers ever to come into the country and they put them back. They move Rowley from the Housing ministry (who I did like as Housing Minister), but they kept these two cunts! Lord help us. Now we know that the traffic will get only worse and that crime will rule supreme. I would like to have seen Rowley as Minister of Security. That would have shaken up some things there.

People say that the PNM has no vision, to which I disagree. The PNM has some vision, just not enough. Plus they have some visions that are just wrong (anybody say aluminum smelter and water taxis?). They have the Vision 2020, but has anyone bought into that. They talk about developed country status by 2020, but being a developed country is a journey, not a destination. It is an evolutionary development that you will reach eventually after setting policies and building the society. There is nothing wrong with being Third World, and the truth is that we are not that badly off from a lot of the other third world countries.

I believe that the people of our country really needs to start educating themselves (and I don’t mean just going to school, I mean really making an effort!). It is only when we build ourselves as a nation, then we can truly start to develop.

The Secret Blog of Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday

Check out the secret blog of Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday at the links below. Seriously funny shit!

The Secret Blog of Patrick Manning — Inside the mind of Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister

The Extra Secret Blog of Basdeo Panday