Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Does the $Million Drug Bust Hurt Trinidad and Tobago?

Trinbagonians Are Now Internationally Profiled as Drug Dealers

The fallout for the average law abiding citizen in Trinidad and Tobago has just begun.  The news might be dramatic but it’s the average citizen who will pay the price of a drug shipment gone wrong or right, depending on perspective.  It’s definitely cause for some reflection.

Imagine for a moment that you lived in a house where illicit drugs were sold.  A package of drugs was intercepted after allegedly leaving the house.   Drugs were never found in the house but the police are absolutely sure that your house is the source of the drugs.  What would you expect to happen?

Well in Trinidad that does not take brain surgery.  The authorities will arrest everybody in the house and begin a series of torturous interrogations.  Father, mother, brother, sister and anyone else who lived in the house will be suspect.  Everyone who lives in the house will be scrutinized and targeted as potential drug dealers.  They are all assumed guilty until proven innocent.

Other more developed countries will initiate an investigation, surveillance, wire tapping and maybe even try to infiltrate the organization with an undercover agent.   They will be absolutely sure of what happened and how before making an arrest.

Every local T&T citizen now lives in that house.  The US authorities have intercepted one of the biggest cocaine shipments in history in the port of Norfolk VA.  The bust occurred last December; it was determined that the shipment of Trinidad Orange Juice in cans came directly from Trinidad.  They immediately dispatched over 50 DEA Agents to investigate and identifythe source in this country.

The story is not over yet, these agents are professional drug trafficking investigators and unlike what happens in Trinidad with such a case, they will most likely identify and arrest the perpetrator(s).   In the meanwhile what does it mean for the good people in the country?  People who just want to live and enjoy life in paradise.

It means that the country will be burdened with a negative international reputation as a drug distributing country.   Trinidad and Tobago will be associated with places like Columbia and Dominica.  Every citizen with a Trinidad and Tobago passport will be presumed guilty until proven innocent.  Many will be subjected to unwarranted searches not because they look like drug dealers but because they carry a T&T passport.  What does a drug dealer look like anyway? 

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In Trinidad it will be business as usual, the usual posturing by politicians jumping in the lime light whenever an opportunity presents itself.  Policing may intensify for a short time, meaning that citizens will be subjected to impromptu road blocks and possibly early morning raids if a residence is suspected of having drugs.  Other than that, as we say in Trinidad; “things normal”.

The average law abiding citizens who are not traveling or don’t engage in drug activities, we will not become actors in this story.  The negative international reputation is “water off a ducks back”.  The world can say what it wants about us; we are not all drug dealers even if we have a few bad apples. 

We are like people everywhere else; all Trinbagonians want is to live “normal” lives.  Their biggest concern is that we do not become a statistic, a victim of the 400-500 murders or the uncounted robberies that occur every year.  We want to see another Christmas, next year’s Carnival.

In the meanwhile the war on drugs continues.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Natural Vision Without Glasses, Contacts, Surgery or Drugs

See Naturally

I've been involved in the self-help industry in some capacity or other for many years. I’ve reviewed hundreds if not thousands of self-help products covering a wide variety of topics. I’ve definitely seen my fair share of good and not-so-good self-help material over the years that I’ve been doing this.
But the moment I heard about Natural Clear Vision, I instantly knew it was nothing short of a winner. And that was before I’d even tried the product out. When I eventually did get to doing, it not only proved my assumptions correct but blew me away as well! It was honestly, an out of this world experience. I never knew a self-help product could invoke such feelings in someone until I stumbled upon Natural Clear Vision. I’d like to make one thing clear though, which is that I wasn't paid or sponsored to do this review, so everything you’re about to hear is completely unbiased and represents nothing but my honest opinion of this product.
Most self-help guides I’ve had to contend with have all promised to deliver miracles within a short space of time, or at least that’s what their sales-copy would have you believe. It couldn’t be further from the truth because they've often not even delivered 10 percent of what was promised. It’s really disappointing when you've spent a not inconsiderable amount of money on a product that’s supposed to help you, but instead leaves you with more problems. It’s really frustrating because this has happened with the large majority of self-help products I've tried.
When I stumbled onto Natural Clear Vision, I honestly didn't think much of it. But something told me it was different and since it was available at a relatively inexpensive price of just $47, why not? Thinking back, I’m really glad I took the plunge because it’s actually delivered as advertised, meaning I achieved perfect vision in the space of a few months, and to think before that I had to rely on both a combination of prescription glasses and contacts to augment my vision.

If you think Natural Clear Vision is just another self-help product to be dismissed as a hoax, you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. Firstly, Natural Clear Vision isn’t just a standalone product by itself as it comes bundled together with a whole slew of bonuses that are absolutely free. And we’re not even talking about how comprehensive the main product itself is. It’s quite unthinkable that they’ve made so many resources available to the customer at such a low price.
The main product itself contains the Natural Clear Vision manual, which is a collection of various techniques and eye exercises that not only teaches you how to care for your eyes, but also how to enhance their performance. There are even exercises for you to de-stress your eyes, which I didn’t know was possible! I was honestly blown away by how easy to execute in real life the exercises and techniques were! It wasn’t like what you’d usually see in the majority of eye-care guides out there which usually require you to memorize really complicated methods that contained like a gazillion different steps. Not here, because I could easily recall most of the exercises taught at a moment’s notice! They were short and straight to the point, without sacrificing valuable content at the same time. This means you don’t miss out on any information in the process. It’s just been packaged in a more compact and practical way that makes it so easy for the reader to relate to.
If you’re someone who loves watching video, you’re in luck because you’ll also get the Natural 20/20 Instructional Video that teaches you how to reduce vision stress, create healthy vision habits and improve general awareness about your vision. It complements the Natural Clear Vision Manual really well and comes in a widely supported format, which means you can view them on the go, whether it’s on your tablet or smart-phone!
Oh, did I mention there’s an eye-chart that’s included as part of the package as well? It’s really simple to look at and helps you identify any preexisting eye conditions that you might have. The most awesome part is, you’re getting basically the same eye-chart that professional optometrists use to diagnose eye conditions! That means no more troublesome trips down to the local optometrist just to get your eyes checked. Three cheers to that!
There’s also the Natural Clear Vision Booster Pack, which is worth the price of admission just by itself. It contains some really advanced techniques and methods to boost vision that will render your local optometrist obsolete! I’ve tried it out and within no time, I was walking around proudly with my 100 percent perfect all-natural vision, as Mother Nature created us with! It was really remarkable and you have to experience it to believe it! I didn’t believe in miracles, but now I do!
If that’s not enough, you’ve still got the free bonuses that come along with Natural Clear Vision! You’ll receive access to the full works of the famous Dr Bates, who was a renowned ophthalmologist that was responsible for much advancement in the eye-care industry. The tips and advice found in his book have helped countless people achieve perfect vision over the years, without the aid of prescription glasses or contacts, whatsoever.
The folks behind Natural Clear Vision also throw in the highly vaunted VisionCare Enhancement Suite, which utilizes highly sophisticated audio technology to essentially recondition your entire visual system to achieve flawless 20/20 vision before you know it! It does its magic through rewiring specific parts of our brain that are responsible for our sense of sight. It’s like nothing you've ever seen before and is really not something you’d expect to find at such a low price point. Lastly, you’ll receive special access to monthly reports that are basically newsletters which keep you abreast of ever-changing developments in the eye-care industry, such as the newest eye-care treatments and innovations in the field!
All the bonuses I've just talked about, just to reiterate again, are absolutely free! If you’re still holding back on purchasing Natural Clear Vision, don’t, because it comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee. That should set your mind at ease because if for whatever reason you’re not satisfied with the product, you get all your money back, no questions asked! Either way, as a customer, it’s a win-win situation for you! I could go on and on about how Natural Clear Vision has worked a miracle in my life, but instead of hearing it from me, shouldn't you go experience its magic firsthand? Get Natural Clear Vision now and take your first steps towards faultless 20/20 vision!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Professor of Calypso: Hollis Urban Liverpool

The Genesis of a Calypso

Rituals Of Power and Rebellion

Calypso is changing, the old calypso were classics that live on today. With the new calypsos you cannot remember them from one year to the next.

One of our greatest calypsoniams the Mighty Chalkdust, Hollis Liverpool was one of the first to document the origins of calypso in his book "Rituals of Power and Rebellion"

Hollis Urban Liverpool was the Director of Culture for the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago up to 1999 and is currently the Director of the Carnival Institute, a division of the National Carnival Commission.

He holds a BA and MA in History from the University of the West Indies; a MA in African History and a Ph.D. in History and Ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan, a Post-grad Diploma in Education from the University of the West Indies; and a Certificate of Philosophy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

He has published four books and written several papers on Trinidad & Tobago’s culture, carnival and calypso. As calypsonian Chalkdust, he has been crowned Calypso Monarch of Trinidad & Tobago five times, and World Calypso Monarch in New York on the two occasions the contest was held.

Here's what others had to say about his book;

Editorial Reviews 

 “A highly original. I haven’t seen anything remotely like this. -- Dr. Fred Cooper, Professor of History, University of Michigan

“A vigorous, painstaking, well-researched, critical study of an important and interesting subject. -- Dr. Maxwell Owusu, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan

“Certainly the best book I have read on Caribbean history.” --Kenneth Tannis, MA Toronto, Canada

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2014 & Crime

Why You Should Not Worry

Christmas done. 2014 Carnival is about to descend on Trinidad and Tobago.  Once again the topic of crime and carnival raises its ugly head.

Carnival is intrinsic to our culture, our tradition it will not be stopped because the number of murders have skyrocketed.

The Brits recently issued a warning to its citizens to be wary when visiting our little paradise in the sun.

Is it justified?  Probably is because if my family was going to visit here, I'll also tell them to be careful, the saye I would if they were going to visit New York City.

To be honest, 2014 murders are happening quicker than the fire works on New Years day, one right after the other.  Nothing like in Mexico but with a population of only 1.3 million people it looks bad.

According to our loud mouth National Security Minister who along with the Commission of Police are singing a "serious crime is down" song for anyone who will sing along with them.  We the people think that murder is serious, that you cannot get more serious than murder and exclude it from other serious crimes.

The National Security Minister is also of the opinion, which he voiced publicly, that it was only criminal killing criminal, therefore decent law abiding citizens are all safe. I wonder what the family of the Pennywise heiress thinks about that assurance.

Let's be real here, the raw reality is that the T&T government cannot stop crime.  No government can.  All any governments can do is pass legislation to deter crimes and install a protective service apparatus to enforce the law.  That's it, so don't fall into that political trap of believing that the government is to blame.

The government cannot stop crimes of passion. The government also cannot stop crimes triggered by materialistic greed for material possessions. Crime is symbolic of a moral and ethical decay. It takes a specific train of thought that would allow anyone to decide that it's ok to take someone's life in the commission of a robbery or for payment in some way. It is also symbolic of a failure, we did not get here suddenly, it's a process' still uncompleted.

What we can blame the government for woefully neglecting their responsibility to enforce the laws.  Detection rate of almost all crimes are ridiculously low, that is our weakness, cities with millions more people have a much higher detection rates.  The integrity of law enforcement officers are more likely than not,  questionable to most citizens.  Most would prefer not to give evidence or in any way become a witness. State witnesses are typically killed, in fact one happened this week.

This is where our successive governments have failed the citizens.  Instead of focusing on detection they prefer to call for new legislation like the aged old Death Penalty that has been proven not to be a crime deterrent in so many other countries. Today with billions of oil dollars spent we still have no DNA labs or mandatory fingerprinting laws or the expertise to run a crime lab.

Instead our police officers are given brute training with no accountability for their actions.  This should be the government's focus and stop selling the lie that they can stop crime.

In the meanwhile, our annual Carnival will continue.  We will party and enjoy what we call "we life" we will not let the likelihood of a murder or two stop us from keeping our tradition alive.  Carnival is part of the process.

Trinidad and Tobago is as safe as any other country in the world.  I just had a social media friend come from Madrid, Spain to live and do business here.  I tell you here like I told him, be care the same way you would be careful in Madrid, Kingston, New York or Paris.  Walk on the safe side, with friends in groups.  Don't go in search of drugs or to engage in other illicit activities; you will be safe. And, like you would do in any major city that you are unfamiliar with; pray..

The likelihood of a crime occurring during the Carnival celebrations is a lot higher than normal but that's only because more people increases the possibilities.  Trinidad and Tobago is nothing close to Beirut or Baghdad, bombs don't just explode killing people by the tens and twenties.

People who are really unfamiliar with Trinidad and Tobago and want to know more should read The Old Board House.  It is one of the more recent books on Trinidad and Tobago, a revised edition by Chad Modeste. .

Visit to find more information of crime in Trinidad and Tobago. .

Monday, January 13, 2014

In Defense of The World's #1 Brother: Barak Obama

The post below is an article is reprinted in defense of the #1 Brother in the world today. Frank Schaeffer has articulated a truth much better than I could do. IMHO he did a great job. Read and enjoy.

"The Lynching of Barack Obama" by Frank Schaeffer
December 14, 2013 
I’ve watched liberal and right-wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.”
I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago.  The New York Times profiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”
I’ve just spent the last 7 years writing over 200,000 words in blogs and articles in support of President Obama. My blogs on the Huffington Post alone would add up to a book in support of the President of over 300 pages. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal.
So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-you-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.
I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White house, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law review is being lynched?
One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.
Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason.
Because, I yelled, the president is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump.
Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right-wing bigots have been bothered.
Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One.
Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.
We’ve been watching a slow motion lynching of a moderate brilliant family man, a father, and faithful loving husband. The Republicans in Congress are so dedicated to lynching the President they’ve been willing to shut down our government and risk the future of our economy.
Evangelical “Christians” have been so stuck on putting a rope around this black man’s neck they have denied their faith and been the backbone of the lying Tea Party who spawned the so-called “birthers” and the rest of the white trash driving our news cycle.
Roman Catholic bishops have denied their tradition of helping the poor and been so eager to destroy this president they aligned themselves with white Evangelical bigots and tried to stop health care reform, all because the President wants to give women a fair shake. The bishops even called him “anti-religious” because the president wants insurers to pay for contraception.
This is a slow motion lynching of a black man who is so moderate and centrist that he favored Wall Street enough so that the Left is all over his case. He’s so “radical” and “leftist” and “hates America” so much, and “coddles our enemies” so much, that he killed bin Laden and used drones to kill our enemies.
He’s such a “socialist” that he presided over the revival of our economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and led us to the present day stock market boom. President Obama is such a “Marxist” that he tried to give insurance – not socialized medicine – to all Americans.
President Obama never answered back to the disgusting southern right-wing rubes from the former slave states that have tried to belittle, mock and stymie his presidency shouting “You lie” in a million ways, while actually meaning “You lie, nigger!”
And did the “enlightened” Left have President Obama’s back? No. They carp about his “failure” because a website was slow to get running! The white privileged “progressive” few were too busy blaming him for getting lynched and telling him how to craft policy while a rope was put around his neck again and again and tightened with each filibuster, each lie told on the radio, each self-defeating scorched earth action to stop him from succeeding, even if it meant taking us all down too.
We don’t like to admit who we really are. So we make excuses and blame the victim. I’m ashamed for our country, a country my Marine son fought for in two stupid wars this president has been working to end. And I’m still rooting for the best, smartest and most decent man who has been president in my lifetime. I pray for his health care reform to succeed. I pray for his immigration reform to succeed. I’m amazed he’s gotten anything done, but he has, even while the lynch mob gathers again and again to laugh, lie and spit and claim he’s “failed” while “liberal” commentators nod sagely and talk about his “mistakes” as if President Obama has been playing on a level playing field.
We have a lot to do to heal this country of the damage done by the right-wing Obama-haters and the Left wing know-it-all pundits who did not have his back because they don’t have the honesty to admit that we still live in a backward racist swamp of prejudice. Maybe in 50 years our country will be worthy of someone of President Obama’s forbearance again.
For now we can just hope that the hatred of the Republican Party for our first black president doesn’t drive us to the brink of ruin again as they strip food from the mouths of the poor, and try to get people to not sign up for health care, just to get even with the black man they swore to destroy from the day that “uppity” black who is smarter than all of them put together took the oath of office.
God bless you Mr. President. I’m praying for you. I am so very sorry. But take heart, in the long reach of history the door you opened will stay open for the millions of Americans of all colors, genders and beliefs who will follow you. They will bless your name. So will history.
 Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy!“ exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is on Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback


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