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Cricket Anyone / Stop the foolishness please!
« on: March 30, 2009, 07:47:55 AM »
Stop the foolishness please!
Fazeer Mohammed

Monday, March 30th 2009

POINTLESS APPEAL: England's Stuart Broad, right, unsuccessfully appeals LBW on West Indies' captain Chris Gayle during the fourth One-Day International match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, yesterday. -Photo: AP
How are West Indians and fans of West Indies cricket supposed to feel right now?

Elated that their team is enjoying considerable success against England and are showing a greater degree of competitiveness generally, or worried that all of this renewed optimism will inevitably come to nothing as a result of the latest episode in the long-running dispute between the players and the regional administrators?

Look, somebody has to stand up and say enough is damn well enough and solve this thing once and for all - one way or the other. To put it simply, we just can't go on this way, especially at a time when long-suffering followers of the Caribbean side are daring to believe that they are now beginning to see light after almost 14 years of darkness that was defined, not only by an unending series of defeats on the field, but a succession of controversies beyond the boundary that were probably more damaging to the psyche of people who look to the game as a source of enjoyment and celebration, not to mention temporary release from the more important issues of everyday life.

This game of bat and ball really shouldn't matter so much. However the fact that it does makes it imperative on the power-brokers and influential personalities to seek the best interests of West Indiescricket, even if there is a fundamental difference of opinion as to what course of action constitutes seeking those best interests.

So if the West Indies Players Association are so frustrated by what they perceive to be the high-handedness and incompetence of the West Indies Cricket Board, and believe that the time is long past for some really drastic action, then they should get on with it. To be suggesting that a decision on strike action for the final One-Day International on Friday in St Lucia was dependent on yesterday's result at Kensington Oval undermined their own argument about the gravity of the situation.

If WIPA have had more than enough in their dealings with the WICB and are convinced that taking their protestations to another level is the only way to trigger the fundamental change in the administration that they may be seeking, then, surely, it really doesn't matter whether or not the series has already been won ahead of the scheduled duel at the Beausejour Stadium.

Of course, this is not intended to disregard the sense of betrayal that fans in St Lucia especially would feel if the match is aborted, given their huge support of the corresponding ODI against Sri Lanka last year when the series was already settled in the home side's favour. But in the same way that more than a few labour unions in the country are making the point that the only way to get attention for their cause is to create considerable inconvenience, then it's up to WIPA to decide what they're really about.

You can't have it both ways, especially if you're coming up against an organisation that you consider to be untrustworthy and impervious to previous attempts at creating a better working relationship.

To be breaksing from more strident action for fear of incurring the wrath of the media and the general public suggests that this is only a game of bluff and counter-bluff. If the belief within the players' fraternity is that they have to rise up against the WICB in a manner never previously attempted, then they must do so, while taking into account that it could cost them their careers as international cricketers.

Is that a price they are prepared to pay? If not, then they should resign themselves to being participants in these irritating skirmishes that, very briefly, distract attention from the cricket itself but ultimately achieve nothing as far as bringing about fundamental change in the governance of the regional game.

If, as some have surmised, this is all about showing who is really in charge of West Indies cricket, and that none of the principals have the best interests of the game at heart, then the ruse will be exposed sooner rather than later. Truly believing in something means being prepared to sacrifice something valuable for its sake. In contrast, taking action only when it is convenient to do so exposes those individuals as tough-talking frauds.

More than 30 years ago, the cream of the crop of West Indies cricket, with the notable exception of Alvin Kallicharran, signed up to Kerry Packer's World Series revolution and were prepared to give up their official international careers for better pay. They were branded as mercenaries in some quarters, yet the greater weight of public, and legal, opinion was on their side and they prevailed in the end, returning to the official fold and proceeding to dominate the game as none had ever done before and are likely to do again.

It's only when you're at the edge of the cliff do you know what you really believe: retreat and make do with the usual treatment meted out to you, or take the giant leap, confident that the strength of your convictions will allow you to survive the fall, even with a few bruises and lacerations?

While it may appear inappropriate to rock the boat just as it seems to be righting itself in the short term, it really makes no sense to stay on board if those at the brig are charting a course towards the nearest iceberg.

It's therefore up to the players to decide what they really want.

General Discussion / Gary Hunt promises to honour first Olympic hero
« on: November 16, 2008, 12:18:44 PM »
At last:

In our last issue, dated October 23, Adrenalin highlighted the fact that the country's first Olympic medallist, Rodney Wilkes, is virtually unknown and has been living in obscurity for the last 40 years since he brought home two medals - a silver and a bronze.

On Monday, Sports Minister Gary Hunt responded by giving his word that he will explore "all existing programmes that are available to assist Mr Wilkes". He also said that he will seek to honour the Olympian in a "more susbtantial and lasting way".

The Minister, a sportsman himself, revealed that his ministry plans to hold a recognition ceremony for all past Olympians in the coming fiscal year. "We have not forgotten our past heroes," he said. "They should be respected, and we want Mr Wilkes to be publicly honoured in such a way that young athletes coming up can look to him for inspiration and learn from him how to rise above all adversity."

We had asked readers to join us in a campaign to have the Government properly recognise the achievements of the former weightlifter, who is now 83 years old. The response was overwhelming. We received more than 60 emails from outraged and saddened citizens. We thank all of you who took the time to write in for responding and supporting this campaign. Here is what some of you had to say:

Football / 'Tiger' Roars.
« on: August 20, 2008, 04:55:28 AM »
'Tiger' Roars.
T&T Guardian Reports.

Former national footballer Alvin Corneal had expressed in the Arena issue of July 6, the idea that the TTFF must not depend on the T&T women players who are resident in the USA to improve the level of the sport but must look locally for players. He was disappointed that 13 girls from the USA represented T&T in the recently concluded Concacaf Under-17 World Cup qualifying tournament. Today, T&T Football Federation (TTFF), technical director Lincoln Phillips gives a response to Corneal where he totally disagrees with his thoughts.

Alvin Corneal’s latest failed attempt at objective analysis appears to indicate, once again, that he is of the opinion that any endeavour in which he is not a main or significant contributor is unworthy. However this time, Alvin took the route of xenophobia in an attempt to undermine a project in which he is not the focal point. As one of the few witnesses to the inside workings of the T&TFF, Alvin should know better than to impishly raise the tired controversy of “foreign versus local” when addressing the U17 women’s program. In fact, he should be ashamed of himself for donning the robes of a demagogue.

The whole idea of hiring foreign coaches for the Women’s program did not occur in a vacuum. The entire women’s staff met with officials of the T&TFF, including Jack Warner (Special Advisor), Keith Look Loy (Technical Advisor) and myself.

After a lengthy discussion regarding the future direction of the woman’s program, it was agreed by everyone present that the U17 program would improve only under the guidance of coaching assistance from abroad. It should be noted that Jamaal Shabazz was in full support of bringing in coaches from abroad. Head Coach, Marlon Charles has also been a staunch supporter and beneficiary of the new direction and the commitment to bring resources to a women’s program that has endured despite being overlooked for many years.

As a result, two top Head Coaches from the United States collegiate coaching ranks were retained to prepare the U17 team for the recent U17 Women’s World Cup qualification tournament. These two coaches, Randy Waldrum, University of Notre Dame and Butch Lauffer, West Texas A&M University, performed their tasks admirably and with the utmost level of professionalism. Alvin’s attempt at sarcasm when alluding to the U.S. coaches’ “magic wand” was neither clever nor insightful but rather illustrated the insecurity of an individual who earned an unimpressive 49-34-7 (W-D-T) record while coaching at North Carolina State University. He is clearly not in the position to critique coaches who have actually won championships.

Aside from the unwarranted broadside of the coaching staff, Alvin’s assessment of the “American Trinis” was lacking in both substance and logic. While Alvin accurately recognized the technical and athletic deficiencies of many of our local female athletes, he seemed to advocate choosing a team based upon a player’s address rather than their ability. Such a strategy would be considered coaching negligence at best and at worst, discriminatory. It is well known that citizenship requirements determine whether or not a player is eligible to participate on a national football team. The players, known by some as “passport players”, that Alvin seems to take issue with are eligible to represent T&T. At the CONCACAF tournament like any other competitive endeavor, you play to win the game. This is the reality of international competition. Once we get past artificial controversies created by those who have their own agendas, the objective of any competitive program is to put together a team that has the best chance to win within the rules of the competition.

Are these “passport players” the future of women’s football in Trinidad and Tobago? I cannot say. In fact, the answer will be largely up to the local players themselves and their ability to answer the challenge of the new standard that has been established. Currently 9 of the 18 players on the present U17 team received their passports just prior to the recent tournament. As Technical Director, I would like to reduce dependence on international-based nationals in the shortest possible time. Not because of any misguided belief in what is “foreign” or “local” but because our national team players would be more accessible to both our coaches and supporters. For this to happen, support must be given to create and strengthen primary school and club football leagues and camps for girls in the U8 through U14 levels. Currently the T&TFF is negotiating with stakeholders to help facilitate bold initiatives in the development of the women’s game. Indeed, developing players domestically will be less costly than recruiting players with T&T parentage. We should, however, continue to provide opportunities for our nationals living abroad to maintain and strengthen the ties with their native land. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that when the time to compete comes, we must select the players who are best prepared and able to win.

Even though our attempt to qualify for the U17 Women’s World Cup fell short by goal difference, our planning and approach has yielded increased visibility and attention to the women’s game in T&T. Costa Rica, who beat our women out for the third and final qualification spot by goal differential, beat our team 6-0 several months before the qualification tournament when we used all local players. We tied them 0-0 in the tournament.

Two months before our training camp in the U.S, we lost to the T&T U20 team 6-0 with all local players. Upon our return with the new “Passport Players”, we tied the same U20 team 0-0 twice. Costa Rica and Mexico understand the realities of competition and Alvin should take note that over percent of the Costa Rica and Mexico teams were made up of “passport players” from the U.S.

Football / Maturana continues to mystify
« on: July 10, 2008, 05:53:54 AM »
Maturana continues to mystify
...From Guerra to Glen
Lasana Liburd

Thursday, July 10th 2008

Francisco Maturana was a winner on the football field again on Tuesday night with a 2-0 triumph against Guyana at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.

It was his sixth win from ten matches since inheriting the post of Trinidad and Tobago head coach. But the performance, against a disinterested Guyanese team-already eliminated from the 2010 World Cup qualifiers-would have done little to convince football stakeholders that he could produce a squad to match Leo Beenhakker's 2006 outfit.

If there are doubts over the Colombian's leadership, his inconsistent philosophy and dodgy scouting are nearing farcical levels.

It took him six games to work out that schoolboys Jamal Gay and Akeem Adams were better off left to develop with the national under-20s. He needed three more matches to spot the potential of versatile W. Connection midfielder Clyde Leon, who made his international debut two years ago but saw Maturana use four different holding players before turning to him.

Leon scored the opener with an audacious long-range effort in the eighth minute, while Keon Daniel got the second after an accomplished individual showing playing behind the lone striker, Cornell Glen.

But it was Glen's charges down the channels-between opposition full back and central defenders-that were a breath of fresh air and the Warriors' most potent weapon on Tuesday night.

Maturana claimed to have full knowledge of the 2006 World Cup players yet it was Glen's first game for the Colombian.

Does Maturana also know that Glen has not played a competitive domestic match since May?

Glen has ditched Pro League outfit Ma Pau and spends his time training with former employers, CLICO San Juan Jabloteh, who he cannot even represent in Reserve matches. He is expected to rejoin Jabloteh when the transfer window opens in August.

Wait until Coventry City discard, Chris Birchall, hears about this.

Perhaps Maturana has finally grasped that Trinidad and Tobago's limited talent pool does not allow for the haphazard replacement of capable players.

If Glen's selection means such a shift in policy, one hopes the Colombian has not left it too late.

But, arguably, the most damning indictment against Maturana's reign thus far never got on the pitch. His name is Ataullah Guerra, but it may well have been Osama Bin Laden judging from the national coach's apparent fear of unleashing the 20-year-old talent.

Maturana, almost from inception, showed a fondness for babysitting duties as he summoned a litter of rookies into his training squad. Yet his treatment of Guerra has been so appalling that perhaps Jabloteh may consider a call to the relevant child protective services.

Economy North East Stars impressive climb up the T&T Pro League standings was rewarded on Tuesday with 45 minutes each to their midfielders Akeil Guevara and Anthony Wolfe-the latter was also a 2006 World Cup squad member.

Striker-cum-midfielder Kerry Noray also got 16 minutes despite his belated start to the 2008 season with bmobile Joe Public. Â

No such luck for the lone representative from the present Pro League leaders and defending champions, Jabloteh.

Guerra has made just two substitute appearances under the present regime, against Grenada and Barbados, for a grand total of 23 minutes.

Worse still, the technical staff is stubbornly silent regarding the slight on the John John resident.

Tall and graceful with a good turn of pace and decent shot, Guerra is the reason why Jabloteh did not lose sleep over releasing gifted but temperamental playmaker and national captain Aurtis Whitley last season.

His appreciable technique aside, Guerra, like most Jabloteh employees, cannot be faulted for desire to retrieve possession when off the ball.

It seems an indication of some potential. Only the head coach appears lukewarm to the idea.

Maturana, who formerly harnessed the likes of Colombian legends Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla, should know a good player when he sees one. But then his selection policy thus far, under the watch of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF), has fluctuated more than a teenage girl in a shoe store.

From Guerra to Glen, Maturana's philosophy continues to mystify.

General Discussion / North American Union?
« on: June 27, 2008, 05:20:15 PM »
helluva theory.  what allyuh make ah this one?


Jokes / West Indians in Canada
« on: June 12, 2008, 09:37:59 AM »

A Canadian Highway Patrolman pulled a car over and told the Guyanese driver that as he was the 5000th person to use the road he was driving on he had just won $5,000 in the Province safety competition.
'What are you going to do with the money?' asked the policeman
'Well, I gonna get a driver's license,' he answered.
'Oh, don't listen to him,' yelled the Trini woman in the passenger's seat...'He's a smart ass when he drunk.'
This woke up the Bajan guy in the back seat, who took one look at the cop and moaned
'I knew we was not gonna get far in dis teef car.'
At that moment, there was a knock from the trunk and a Jamaican voice said in patois,
'Yow-Brejrin!, I mek it craass di barder yet?
The Canadian Highway Patrolman smiled and handed the $5,000 cheque to the driver . . .
'I always love the Island talk, but I can never understand it.
Have a nice day.'

General Discussion / SKEWS
« on: June 10, 2008, 12:12:35 PM »
excerpt of skews trini dictionary from Gayelle the channel


General Discussion / Love story ends for homeless couple
« on: May 14, 2008, 06:43:31 AM »
Love story ends for homeless couple
...partner dies in shopping cart without help
Richard Charan South Bureau

Wednesday, May 14th 2008

In the shadow of Mahatma Gandhi's Statue on Harris Promenade, San Fernando, is a shopping cart that was the bed and home of Cynthia Ramcharan for a month.

Cynthia died in that cart on the weekend. She was 45.

In her final days, she appeared to be twice that age, her body a bag of bones, every semblance of womanhood gone. She died on Mother's Day. Somewhere is the daughter she had when she was young.

Cynthia's death went unnoticed to many who use the city. Most turned away, crossed the road, stepped into a store on seeing the approach of the man pushing her in the shopping cart. To accept them was to accept that we were failing our brothers and sisters.

Cynthia's death brought to an end a love story found in no Mills and Boon novel. No one knew or cared for her in her final days but Sylvester Joseph. He is 65, going on 85, walking on feet engorged with pus, eyes bloodshot and tear-filled.

He spoke with the Express last week. Two years ago, he said, the house he owned in Sea Lots burned. Cynthia was with him. He said they were asleep.

She woke him and got him out of the house.

"My life-saver. She saved me. I would have roasted like a barbecue chicken if not for her," he said. "So tell me how I could ever leave a woman like that".

So he stayed with Cynthia, both joining the mass of sub-humans living in the capital.

A homeless friend told them it was easier to survive on the streets of San Fernando. So they came a month ago. Cynthia was a prostitute, selling her body for money and drugs on the streets of Port of Spain, her family living in one of the villages of New Grant near Princes Town.

Cynthia ended up in the cart when a gang of homeless people prowling at night beat her on her knees.

Sylvester said he made sure she was comfortable, carrying her in his arms when needed, cleaning, feeding, bathing, like a father would a baby.

It was decision day last Monday. Sylvester needed money. He had a disability cheque to collect in Laventille where he is from originally. But how could he leave her behind, he said. No one would take her.

"All she drinks is milk in little sips, But I have no more. And the prices going up. I beg her to go hospital. She say not at all. She is afraid of the place."

To the few who stopped to hear, Syvester would beg, "Could someone get a doctor to come on the promenade to see Cynthia?" He promised to buy whatever medication was needed. "And could they check her ears? She said they were paining."

At the Gandhi Statue on Monday, three homeless people sat near the shopping cart. They said they were guarding Sylvester's belongings. He had gone into Port of Spain to get his disability grant. He planned to use it to bury his love.

Jokes / I was having trouble with my computer...
« on: May 13, 2008, 03:14:31 PM »
I was having trouble with my computer...

So I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like
Mission Control and asked him to come over.

Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?

He replied, "It was an ID ten T error."

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, ID ten T error?

What's that? In case I need to fix it again."

Eric grinned.... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"
"No," I replied.
"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."
So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T   

I used to like Eric............

General Discussion / PRESSURE!
« on: April 22, 2008, 09:00:59 AM »

Central Bank warns of hard times ahead
Curtis Rampersad

Tuesday, April 22nd 2008

Turbulent times: Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams yesterday. -Photo: Dexter Philip
Trinidadians are in for turbulent financial times in the coming months and will pay more for food, goods and services amid the economic menace of escalating inflation.

"There is a very serious threat of double-digit inflation becoming an endemic," in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as countries around the world, Central Bank governor Ewart Williams said yesterday. "The global food crisis threatens price stability and all governments are scared about double-digit inflation."

Headline inflation hit ten per cent in January then fell to 9.4 per cent in February, but domestic inflationary pressures have remained strong and have been compounded by substantial increases in international food prices.

Williams said based on how organisations responded to inflation, it was "very easy" for the country to find itself in a spiral of continued escalating prices as a response to inflation.

He was speaking at the Bank's release of its Monetary Policy Report at the Central Bank tower, Port of Spain.

There are several structural reasons for the continued threat of higher inflation that cannot be easily resolved.

For instance, non-energy tax collections increased between 2003 and 2007, but government expenditure grew twice as fast over the same period.

Government spending is an issue and the Bank has a responsibility to inform the government of its concerns, Williams said, but admitted that as an adviser, the Bank could express its concern but this was not always heeded.

"Sometimes the advice is taken, sometimes it's not," he said.

Excessive consumerism is another factor contributing to higher inflation. Bank credit expansion added to demand pressures and increased more than 22 per cent last year, consumer credit and real estate loans expanded faster than business credit and loans for cars jumped 50 per cent in 2007.

Retail sales also surged by 20 per cent from 2007 and were led by car sales and construction material expenses, highlights of the monetary policy report showed.

Consumer spending may jump again in the coming months as the Royal Bank of Canada's takeover of RBTT Financial Holdings will inject almost $8 billion in cash into the financial system.

A third reason for what could be several months of high food prices is lagging agricultural output in the country, with the sector declining by six per cent last year.

This sluggish performance was caused by low investment, dislocation of Caroni (1975) Ltd and workers moving to other jobs.

Higher import prices also affected food inflation in the country.

Williams said three considerations added to the Bank's view about inflation-the view that food import prices rises were structural and unlikely to be reversed soon; delays in the implementation of Government's new agricultural thrust and a noticeable rise in inflation expectations driven by rising food prices.

"Unless something is done, we are going to be swimming in double-digit inflation," Williams told members of government bodies and the financial and business community.

This may be the time to consider some kind of social compact involving business, labour and government, while long-term measures take root, he said, adding that between the Bank and the government, initiatives to solve the problems could include national budget measures, monetary policy adjustments such as shifting the focus to absorb liquidity and implementing agriculture improvements.

The Bank has increased the repo rate and reserve requirements for commercial banks, thus forcing them to increase lending rates to curb borrowing.

But the situation remains tense for the country.

"Attaining the government's target inflation rate of six per cent by end-2008 will present serious challenges," Williams said. "We are facing a situation that could get out of control, that could easily slip away from us."

General Discussion / Inspiring positive change
« on: April 18, 2008, 08:35:46 AM »
Inspiring positive change
Fazeer Mohammed

Friday, April 18th 2008

It's the sort of story that almost brings tears to your eyes.

Tansley Thompson was talking passionately yesterday morning about sport being a powerful vehicle for positive change among the troubled youth of our country when he made reference to an experience he had a few years ago on the Beetham Estate.

Wearing his hat of boxing promoter and general opportunity-giver to the underprivileged, Tansley picked up a few youngsters from the area who showed a keenness for the sport and took them to a gym in Port of Spain for some introductory training. That was the end of his involvement in that particular exercise.

As the former national footballer tells it, a couple years later the boxing trainer friend he had taken the young men to bounces up Tansley somewhere and tells him that one of the boys he had brought to the gym definitely has something special about him.

"Is so?" says Tansley, or something to that effect. "Yes, man!" comes the enthusiastic reply. "He down in Australia right now with the Commonwealth Games team."

This story about the emergence of Christopher de Freitas from humble circumstances to be flying the flag of Trinidad and Tobago more than half-a-world away at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne is worthy of a documentary of some sort. It can serve as an inspiration to others as to just what can be achieved in the face of considerable adversity, it can bring pride to a community and improve self-esteem, and it can help lift the veils of prejudice that cover the eyes of so many of us who are content to place damning labels on an entire group of people.

We need more people like the old Tans, although he may not like the "old" part, seeing that he made me understand that he played top-level club football until the age of 52 (surpassing the mark of his inspirational father by one year) and believes he still has enough juice left in those legs to show the current crop a thing or two.

Someone reading this could just be steupsing right now, believing as they might that this is all about one man portraying himself as some great saviour of the country through sport when there is so-and-so from such-and-such community who has been doing much more than Tansley for much longer and no-one would even give them a dinner mint. If so, you're missing the point as badly as the former sports store owner would probably miss an open goal these days.

This is not about the messenger, but the message: that taking sport to the people who need it most can turn their lives around, bring discipline and order to their lives and give them a sense of purpose. It is not about fuelling unrealistic expectations about becoming a superstar multi-millionaire like a LeBron James, Tiger Woods or Ronaldinho, but adopting a lifestyle that is itself its own reward even without the prospect of becoming the greatest thing since Brian Lara.

That preoccupation with glory, fame, glitz and unfathomable riches will be manifested this morning in the start of the new money-spinning Indian Premier League in Bangalore, a Twenty20 tournament that is set to revolutionise cricket at the highest level. But it is at the grassroots level of our communities throughout the country that the real revolution needs to take place.

Listening to Tansley talk about the experience of putting on boxing cards free to the public in places like Africa up in Laventille (I know about Bangladesh close by me, but had no idea of that district), the Beetham, and Eddie Hart Ground in Tacarigua was like discovering a new world, a world occupied by the have-nots who are continually reminded how worthless and dangerous they are to the rest of society.

If only for the extremely selfish reason of self-preservation, we must somehow find an effective way to bridge the ever-widening gap between these two worlds...or pay a grievous price somewhere down the road for our negligence.

But this must be more than doing just enough to protect our particular empires. It has to be propelled by a desire to make this place a better one for all of us and for the generations to come.

It ain't easy, especially given the increasing polarisation on the basis of race and political affiliation in recent years that has generated the "us versus them" siege mentality from which nothing constructive or enlightened can emerge.

After spending some time in foreign, Tansley had returned home for Trinidad and Tobago's final-round World Cup football qualifiers in 2001 ahead of the finals the following year in Japan and South Korea. Apparently not being aware of the level to which things had disintegrated during his absence, he made the mistake during a radio interview leading up to one of the games of saying how much he enjoyed eating a true Trini roti once again.

Who tell he say that? A caller promptly took a turn in his tail, implying that as a black man, he should be enjoying pelau and callaloo and not something from "them other people".

In the silence of his non-response, I could hear Tansley's utter bewilderment and frustration at what we have come to.

But, as he says, his back is broad that there is a greater will that moves him to keep on keeping on. Like Christopher de Freitas the Beetham boxer, Tansley Thompson the sports pyong should be an inspiration to us all.

General Discussion / steups!
« on: April 17, 2008, 10:21:19 AM »


A 14-year-old Colombian prostitute is claiming that a police officer had sex with her in exchange for not arresting her during a raid at a hotel in Chaguanas, last week.

In the pre-dawn hours of April 9, police officers staged a raid at the Santa Maria Hotel at Bagna Trace, Chase Village, Chaguanas.

Twenty-nine Colombian women were piled up into police vehicles and taken away.

One was left behind.

Maria (not her real name) said two police officers found her under the bed of her room while the raid was taking place.

She was told if she had sex with an officer, she would not be taken to the police station.

Maria, who arrived in the country 15 days before by boat, hesitated.

She was scared to be deported back to Colombia but her greater fear of the police won out.

She submitted.

A police officer stood guard while the other officer had sex with her.

She was left in her room while the other women were taken away.

The women are now at the Golden Grove Prison in Arouca awaiting deportation.

Maria had paid for her freedom with sex.

Now she felt violated and scared.

The public relations department of the T&T Police Service said it “would comment on the veracity and truthfulness of the allegation in due course.”

The Guardian met Maria on Tuesday.

She was dressed in a simple purple dress which highlighted her milk-like complexion framed with a curtain of jet black hair. She sat straight while she spoke guardedly (via translator) about her experience.

She appeared more concerned than calculating.

She did not smile.

She has not and will not press charges.

The plain truth is, she is a sex worker, in the country illegally, who is underage.

Her act of submission can simply be viewed as a job without pay.

Maria is here to make money to go back home. She said she was not feeling well and feared for her life. She said friends in her home town in Colombia convinced her to come to Trinidad as it was an easy place to make money. She has four siblings. Her dreams are simple. She wants to own a motorbike when she goes back home.

She said when she first started to work, it was hard. She has to drink alcohol before she begins to work.

She expects to leave Trinidad by May.

She has resumed work. A customer is charged $200 a session.

Salorne McDonald, a representative of the Society of Family and Health, contends that Maria should have some legal recourse.

“The police and the immigration officers were there to conduct their jobs...The act, while on duty, was unlawful,” he said.

Gary Hughes, manager of Santa Maria, said it was the first time that a worker was taken advantage of while a raid was being carried out.

Hughes, who sat in the armrest of a couch in the bar of the hotel, said that police officers visited his place all the time.

To the right of the bar was a red-carpeted square stage with chairs around.

The place is heavily burglar-proofed and dark.

Hughes said his business was above board.

He has a hotel, the women pay for their rooms and what they do is up to them.

He runs a bar, he said.

“Many police officers come here...From superintendents and upwards,” he claimed.

“They come here and buy girls.

“Look at this...It have about 75 to 100 girls in (name called) which is just a few blocks down from the Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain.

“You don’t hear about that place being raided.

“Officers does come here, leave their gun in the office and go upstairs,” he said.

A 21-year-old Dominican Republic girl, who sat in on the interview said officers from South and Port-of-Spain also visited the hotel.

“They come here while they on duty,” she said.

“Sometimes, they will talk to one of the heads who will send them up with a girl.

“And they does want to do all sort of things.”

She said that a girl can earn between $1,500 to up to $2,000 a night. She is not complaining about her job. During the day she is learning French and is free to do as she pleases. Work begins at 7 pm.

“I does have to drink before I go downstairs. Otherwise I can't do it. So I drink everyday,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

boy ah waiting for this underage Columbian prostitute ring to buss.  somebody paying for these children to get here and ah nex body turning ah blind eye to the boats that bringing them.  and in the mean time they arresting the girls, and fellahs like Hughes running their bar no problem. 

Other Sports / potential world record catch
« on: April 07, 2008, 07:36:29 AM »
Wow!   :applause:


FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Sean Mendonca received cheques totalling $415,000 for reeling in an 890 pound blue marlin in the waters off Charlotteville in Tobago on Saturday—a feat which could land the teenager in the world record books as a junior angler.

Taking part in the T&T Game Fishing Association’s 28th international fishing tournament, Mendonca, a Westmoorings student, hooked the monster fish at 9.57 am on Saturday and spent the next one hour and four minutes coaxing the fish on to his uncle Maurice Lloyd’s boat, Indigo.

When the fish was brought to shore for weighing at the Speyside fishing jetty, judges found that it was 135 inches (11 feet, three inches) long and that its girth was 72 inches (six feet), said Marylin Sheppard, who heads the tournament’s rules committee.

The fish is about twice the height and about six times the weight of the teenager.

“This boy may have broken the junior angler world record for blue marlin,” said Sheppard, adding that the verification and certification of the world record would be done by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA), which is headquartered at Dania Beach in Florida.

Bill Rewalt, an American judge who was at Speyside for the tournament, filled out a form which he will take to the IGFA this week, said Sheppard, who assisted in weighing the fish. Rewalt will also take the lure, the hook, the leader and 30 feet of the nylon used to reel in the fish to the IGFA.

Mendonca received $100,000 for breaking the existing blue marlin record which was 644 pounds and $315,000 for catching a blue marlin over 800 pounds. He also received trophies for the largest fish of the tournament and for capturing the heaviest fish.

Sheppard said at 890 pounds the blue marlin was likely to be the largest fish ever recorded at a game fishing tournament in the Caribbean.

The tournament was previously held at Crown Point but was moved to Speyside this year, for the first time, because of rough seas off Tobago’s south-west coast, said Sheppard, who is also responsible for beach control which involves contacting the boats by radio and recording their times.

The tournament was sponsored by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the Tobago House of Assembly, Carib and the local Game Fishing Association along with a number of other sponsors. Most of the boats in the tournament were anchored at the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / sparrow music
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:53:00 AM »
Received this email and thought some of you may be interested:

Hello people,
Yes, the entire Mighty Sparrow collection is available for download on
Take the time and go into the Calypso genre and you will be delighted and
amazed at the Mighty Sparrow's catalogue of music!
Create your special collection of your favourite Sparrow Classics!

Jokes / Do Not Mess with Little old Ladies
« on: March 06, 2008, 03:32:34 PM »
 :rotfl: :rotfl:  this guy is hillarious!

Turn up your sound.... it's funny

It is a phone call from a man, who witnesses  a car accident, involving four elderly women.

It was so popular, when they played it on CHUM-FM, that they had to put it on their website.

If you close your eyes and picture what he is watching it is even better than a video clip!


Entertainment & Culture Discussion / I miss Dexter
« on: March 03, 2008, 07:01:10 PM »
our illustrious cable company thought it a fine idea to cut showtime channel on the sunday of the second to last episode of dexter.  can anyone tell me where i can find the last two episodes?  are they available online?

Jokes / Dear Abby...
« on: February 22, 2008, 08:25:26 AM »
Dear Abby,

My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the
beginning, and, when I confront him, he denies everything. What's
worse, everyone knows that he cheats on me. It is so humiliating.

Also, since he lost his job eight years ago, he hasn't even looked
for a new one. All he does all day is smoke cigars, cruise around and B.S. with his buddies while I have to work to pay thebills. Since our daughter went away to college he doesn't even pretend to like me and hints that I may be a lesbian. What should I do?

Signed: Clueless


Dear Clueless,

Grow up and dump him. Good grief, woman - you don't need him
anymore! You're a United States Senator fromNew York running for President of theUnited States. Act like one!

General Discussion / who writes the love messages on kc dinner mints?
« on: February 18, 2008, 01:07:27 PM »
someone took the time to find out.  the answer here:


General Discussion / In Trinidad, a Painted Lady in Distress
« on: February 18, 2008, 11:41:41 AM »
Don't know how many of you know about this.  the Gingerbread house is up for sale and many fear it will be purchased and demolished by a developer as was Bagshot House.  check out this link and you can sign a petition to the Prime Minister to save it.


check out the pictures



Entertainment & Culture Discussion / music lovers...
« on: June 17, 2007, 07:49:52 AM »
check this out!  our very own dj lyndon on the internet...

Once again you can download this week's Razorshop Live Mix Sessions on
Worldscastradio.com here! From Soulful to Deep House, this week Dj
Lyndon keeps it funk-y......Enjoy the styles!!

Hr 1 Link
Hr 2 Link

General Discussion / happy sunday all!
« on: June 03, 2007, 06:19:43 AM »
Good morning to all my fellow forumites.  wishing you all the good vibes and promise of a bright new beautiful day!   ;D

General Discussion / where morvant?
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:59:11 PM »
allyuh when was the last time we see Morvie?  ent he in a war somewhere?  if anybody know how tuh reach Morvie, tell him show he face on occasion so people doh stress nuh.   :-\

General Discussion / ent it had tuh be west indians...
« on: March 26, 2007, 12:27:31 PM »
okay somebody delete this topic till ah figure out how tuh post de pic.  Queen ahm ah try dat and it not workin.  ???  but tanks eh

somebody help ah sister out nuh

General Discussion / ah wasn't sure where to put this:
« on: March 14, 2007, 06:29:54 AM »
entertainment and culture or general discussion?

Friday, March 02, 2007

 What Calypso Can Do: Giving Genocide Gravitas

Well, some folks might be saying Singing Sandra is a prophetess right about now, since UNC Senator Harry Mungalsingh made his decidedly Nazi-ish remarks about using cash-incentivised sterilization and abortion to assist in the fight against crime, and that these should be offered in PNM-run communities, which contribute disproportionate numbers of people to the prison population. He did say that this should be used in conjunction with other strategies like access to land and opportunity, but the PNM prattlers picked up on the good stuff, and Rennie Dumas reportedly started shouting ‘Genocide on the UNC platform’.

Aside from the other implications, here is a small sliver of proof of the intertextual intimacy between reflexive PNM rhetoric and calypso; for this was the claim of Singing Sandra’s 2007 Dimanche Gras offering, which warned ‘Africans’ that genocide was not taking place in Sudan, but right here, by (presumably non-African) doctors in the maternity hospitals, and to ‘not bury your head in the sand/is part of they master plan’ which involved ‘winning an election’. Mungalsingh’s flash of bigotry and blaze of incredible stupidity will now clarify and amplify this claim in the underground if not mainstream, and solidify it in the minds of black working and middle classes, if it were not so already.

And here lies the problem with calypso. This was actually the subject of a CCN TV6 Morning Edition discussion on the Thursday after Carnival. (There had been one a few weeks earlier, on Feb 1, but that had only gone on for half-hr.) I had actually been trying to get on to promote my book, and got invited to be on it. The panel was comprised of Ayigero Ome (NJAC/NACC calypso apologist), calypsonians Lady Wonda, and Ras Kommanda, calypso judge, Merle Albino de Coteau, Morgan Job, Andy Johnson, and your interlocutor.

It was a, uhm, lively session, but with a panel that big, the thing got diluted. Job’s agenda was to look at the pedagogics of calypso, ie, what the lyrics said, and directed its subscribers to, and this was to have shaped the whole thing. The other panelists, though, came on with the agenda of promoting calypso, and brought with them a mountain of clichés, factoids, and tourist slogans viz, ‘kaiso is King’ (Lady Wonda), calypso as ‘an artform’ (all calypso panelists), calypso as ‘de poor man’s newspaper’ and the vanguard of the ‘people’s’ voice against authority (Ome), calypso as a ‘national artform’ (all calypso panelists), and so on.

Naturally, to remind the panelists that these were mere ethno-centred fantasies was the first task, and, it so happened, the last. Trying to explain that calypso was merely one strand of an ethnic discourse, which could not be isolated from other strands (neo-Garveyism, PNM rhetoric, African American Afrocentrism, reparations, African essentialism & traditionalism) was futile. They listened – and I have to say they were attentive – but they did nothing with the information.

I tried to bring up the issue of calypso as ventriloquism, where the brown middle classes whispered in the ears of calypsonians and it came out as calypso. I made a mistake, though, and cited Rudder’s ‘Rally Round the West Indies’ as an example of inane middle class pabulum, an easy sloganistic alibi for real action.

I despise cricket, and sometimes forget there are many people who don’t. In retrospect, Rudder’s Haiti and High Mas’ might have been better. I remember High Mas in particular, in, was it 1998? Which I heard and thought it was a really nice, creative song. The brown classes, represented in this instance by Wayne Brown & Keith Smith thought it was much more.

Incidentally, around this time (1998) I was writing editorials for the Express (and other things), and Keith Smith and Lenny Grant simply refused to entertain any discussion on this. & if you look at Brown’s columns in the Independent and the rhetoric surrounding the song, you see why: it was a kind of rallying cry linking Christian virtue, Romantic art, public morality & ‘Creolism’ into a kind of moral discourse that made sense when you considered the times: the Indian/Hindu barbarians were in power; decent god-fearing Christians were searching for straws to grab on to. Ditto for Rudder’s Ganges & the Nile; a nice song, but certainly not a recipe for resolving a complex and potentially malevolent situation (which malevolence has since been fully realized). Indeed, it was little more than an effective distraction from the complexity of the issue.

Similarly, Three Canal’s offerings: Talk your Talk, Revolution Coming, Sing a Happy Song are, like Rudders works after 1996, mere posturing about some undefined revolution which seeks to maintain the status quo: ‘talk your talk, you mocking pretender…far too long you deceiving the children… [feeding the] roots of the vampire system’. The songs all lead back, non-too subtly, to ‘nationalism’, ‘de creator’ or some such political cultural device that derives from the archetypal ‘we ting’.

What Rudder’s and 3Canal’s offerings have in common (as the most high-profile exponents of their genres), is that when they are not inane recitations of meaningless slogans to ‘revolution’ and ‘all o we is one’ their songs are expressions of impotence against forces outside, but rallying cries to ethnic solidarity inside of Trinidad. I don’t imagine ethnic solidarity is unequivocally bad, if it benefits its constituency and harms no one else. However, this ethnic solidarity remains the subtext of calypso, and so long as calypso sells itself as the ‘national’ music, or ‘artform’ this a fundamental contradiction; unless ‘national’ means ‘Afro-descended’, which of course to many people it does.

This is actually the most fundamental issue of calypso and Carnival that needs to be ventilated: since Independence, Carnival has been constructed as an African-PNM’ thing, and as the only ‘authentic’, or dominant, culture of Trinidad. This is fundamentally false. While Carnival has been the dominant cultural form of urban Trinidad, or Port of Spain, there is a whole other Indo-derived culture that exists outside of town, and this has a more cogent claim to be the culture of Trinidad.

The reasons for this are as follows:
—Carnival could not exist without massive state subventions, which increase every year, to keep it alive;
—Carnival is not the ‘festival of the people’; if it is, then the violence from ‘the people’ that is slowly covering the whole of it is like an auto-destruct function, or it means that the people need much therapy;
—Carnival, as is popularly advertised, does not provide catharsis, ‘resistance’ or counter culture; it would be difficult to find another festival that makes these claims so completely in the embrace of state and business; the deep financial commitments of these two rapacious, conscience-less, and morally void institutions suggest that Carnival must give much more than it gets.

By contrast; Indo-Trinidadian, non-urban culture:

—Is completely self-financing, and has existed since and before independence without state support;
—Without state interference, Indo culture can stake a verifiable claim to being the ‘entertainments of the people’ and counter culture, especially since the popular amusements are patronized by thousands at a time, strongly disapproved of by the upper classes (ie, Brahmins et al) and have flourished in spite of this active disapproval;
—Mythologies about its belonging or ‘national’ status do not have to be created; Indo culture exists in a continuous spectrum from the secular to the sacred; that is, there is no separation, though there is distance, between Hindu religion, entertainment, and secular life.

The ‘problem’ is, that Indo-culture is still recognizably Indo, and generation of AfroTrinidadians ha/s/ve been conditioned to respond in a particular way to the signifiers of Indo-culture, hence but for a few isolated instances, there has been no overt influence. An exception is Lord Shorty who married Indian music to calypso, and created the one commercially successful genre: soca. The potential for cross culturalisation is enormous and untapped, and seems likely to remain so. Morgan Job reminded the audience that when Bro Marvin reminded the ‘Africans’ that if they looked back far enough, they might find a man in a dhoti, Pearl Springer and Leroy Clarke came out swinging: dem ent no Indian. Dem is African.

Which brings us back to Indian & African: Harry Mungalsingh & Singing Sandra & calypso. Calypso as practiced now is almost completely self-referential; it is little more than a conversation the black underclass has with itself and its hierarchs (the PNM and the brown classes). It is also, by mutual agreement, a weapon of the weak, designed to maintain the status quo. None of the apologists for calypso has mentioned that calypso has almost never achieved positive social change; its only motivational effects are negative (cf ‘Kidnap Dem’ and ‘Genocide’).

The great mass of calypso is inane, amateurish and puerile. There are thousands every year, and of these, fewer than 40 are worth listening to a month later. This is because the sources for calypso are not discourses of ideas, which come from technology, science, history, literature, drama, being written, produced, talked about, discussed in the public, and among the public.

These discourses do not exist in Trinidad now, and indeed this is the void calypso is being touted to fill. If the public is largely illiterate, uneducated to an incredible degree, and keeps referring to its own resources, in its own language, which becomes more and more inarticulate and narrow every year, calypso will become capable of transmitting only the most elementary messages, or, as Minister Rennie Dumas showed single, charged words: Genocide! It also shows how calypso is routinely used to allow the PNM to evade the consequences of the crime-ridden, misery-filled communities it creates and maintains to stay in power.

Jokes / A Bajan Boy
« on: March 09, 2007, 05:36:44 PM »
Bridgetown, Barbados (AP)

A seven year old boy was at the center of a Barbados Courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.  The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with the child custody law and regulations requiring that the family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that, while visiting his aunt during the summer holidays, his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her.   
When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.  After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the West Indies Cricket Team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating ANYONE.

Now i eh cryin down we boys eh.  but armmmmm...considering the days play...

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / ah sayin dis once!
« on: February 18, 2007, 09:27:08 PM »
DOH MISS BRIAN LARA FETE!!!!!!!!!  so if yuh comin nex year, start saving yuh pennies now!  an doh miss dat fate.  ah mean fete.  oh an machel is a superstar despite de fack dat he spend money stupid on ah tour bus.  what de azz is dat?!  but he still a superstar!!!!!!  and destra is a goddess!!!!!!!!!  ah spell anyting wrong?  ah drink nuff rum.  right.  ah goin an sleep cause ah cyar see de keyboard rpoper.  ah mean proper.  nice.   check fuh meh dere nex year.  up front - stage lef!  bes fete ever!  ah mean ever!  did i say ever??!!!  but de rum might have something to do wit dat.   :wavetowel:

General Discussion / Autopsy: ‘Suspect’ shot at close range
« on: January 27, 2007, 06:30:21 AM »
"An autopsy done on the body of 25-year-old Tor John revealed that the URP foreman had been shot in the back of his head.

This now contradicts the police version of a reported shootout with John at his home, relatives of the dead man said yesterday.

The post-mortem was done by pathologist Dr Eastlyn Mc Donald-Boris at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park in St James, on Thursday.

This, after investigators had failed to turn up for the post-mortem on Wednesday.

The cause of death was confirmed on a death certificate issued at the Registrar of Births and Death Port-of-Spain office yesterday.

John, also called “Cat,” was shot dead by police on Tuesday at his Village Council Street, Trou Macaque, Laventille, home mere hours after the slaying of WPC Elizabeth Shurland, her husband Ivan, daughter Anika and family friend Kevin Serrette.

After speaking with Mc Donald-Boris following the autopsy, relatives said they were told John had been shot at close range once in the back of his head, with the bullet exiting through his temple.

They were also told that no gunpowder residue had been found in either of John’s hands to corroborate the police’s story that he had fired shots at them.

The police also claimed that a firearm containing six rounds of ammunition was found on John after he was shot.


John’s uncle Ian John is now convinced that John was executed by police.

Is murder! He was executed,” Ian said.

It had to be that they put him to kneel down and shoot him,” he added.

He said following Thursday’s post-mortem, investigators were now beginning to look into the matter and visited John’s Trou Macaque home for the first time yesterday to interview neighbours.

In a statement by Police Commissioner Trevor Paul Tuesday, he said Tor was killed as officers defended themselves while questioning him about the murders."

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

ah car lie...ah kept hoping it was not that they drag him outta his bed and kill him.  now ah genuinely frighten fuh dis place. and ah wondering if is not de police self that kill this woman and her family.

seein dat is carnival i find we need to have a lil calypso competition up in dis place!  so fellas i issue de challenge - 4 verses and a chorus on the stated subject. 

the judging panel is de outta de closet red women in de forum.  although ah feel that coco should be alowed to enter cause she could write lil poetry an ting.   ;)  ladies! what is de prize fuh de winner?  ah feel de ladies should be able to write yuh know cause ah tinkin macomeh could bun all ah allyuh.  ladies what allyuh tink? 

an yuh could do collaborations too eh.  maybe it should be extempo?  lemme hear allyuh 

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