December 11, 2013 By
December 11, 2013 By
…from writer’s eye
In his quest for publicity (to hock his self published book?), Ruel Johnson feels compelled to revive the infant terrible role even though he’s so long in the tooth. The last time he tried it, he was pitching for the post of editor with the Guyana Press – at a price of $3 million a month.
He evidently thought – by some reverse psychology process – that by cussing out the Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony, who would’ve been his boss, the fella would hire him. He thought wrong.
So he’s throwing another hissy fit once again. But then we shouldn’t be surprised – they do say that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, don’t they? He also decided to move up the ladder and cuss out Dr Anthony’s boss – President Donald Ramotar.
And what’s twisted his bukta into a knot this time? “Ramotar isn’t fit to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral,” he hissed. He didn’t take issue with those who wanted the prezzie to take along Opposition Leader David Granger with him.
Granger, it’s said, is the inheritor of Forbes Burnham’s mantle, and Burnham’s right up there as one of the liberators of South Africa. So Granger should’ve gotten a free ride. Well, let’s talk about Granger, Ramotar and South Africa.
Ramotar is the inheritor of the mantle of Dr Cheddi Jagan…first as general secretary of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and then as president of Guyana. Dr Jagan, we have to remember, was honoured by South Africa with its highest civilian award: the Order of the Friends of O R Tambo.
This was awarded posthumously for Dr Jagan’s “exceptional contribution to the struggle against racial oppression and colonial exploitation”. The award, as a matter of fact, had been accepted by no other than Ramotar himself…in a ceremony that also conferred the honour to non-aligned giants, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru and Indonesia’s Sukarno (born Kusno Sosrodihardjo).
Burnham, as Ramotar’s critics disingenuously pretend to forget, was denied the same award. Most credible Pan Africanists raised the not inconsequential matter of Burnham’s role in the assassination of Dr Walter Rodney.
Johnson should take the plank from his eye when he says the president’s not fit to attend Mandela’s funeral because he hasn’t walked in Mandela’s shoes. Has Granger? Even Barack Obama admitted he fell short.
Mandela was a man who preached that we cannot keep on stirring up old hatreds. In this regard, Granger has been most egregious – witness his creation this year of a monument to the victims of Sun Chapman.
Is this what Mandela would’ve done? Johnson should be ashamed for ignoring the foisting of Granger, the disciple of the discredited Burnham, into the final rites for the man who will go down in history as the “great forgiver”.
Transparency International (TI) local compradors sponsored a march against corruption in Guyana. They’re shedding crocodile tears and complaining that no government officials were arm in arm with them. Well it’s been truly said, “show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are”.
We all know that the local TI body doesn’t just have only opposition friends…they’re themselves all opposition.
Imagine the hypocrisy of continuously stabbing the government in the back ever since they were formed, but expecting members to attend their march – just because it was a United Nations (UN) sponsored event. They should’ve never been allowed to host the event in the first case. It’s tantamount to a paedophile being allowed to march against paedophilia – and complaining children didn’t attend!
The government would’ve needed to have their collective heads examined if they’d showed up. TI should be renamed “OI” – Opaque International, since they refuse to be transparent about the methodology through which they arrive at their ratings.
Three years ago, the economist said “the best-known corruption index may have run its course” because it was “misleading”.
…from Congress’ eyes
The deal with Iran – pushed by the U.S. administration – to ensure it doesn’t develop nuclear weapons, was hardly inked when their Congress moved to install new sanctions. They just love the planks in their eyes.
December 11, 2013 By
Satiricus was proud of his country. In America, the people believe anyone can grow up to be president. And lo and behold…even though some cynics thought it was just a saying, a little black boy named Hussein, who wasn’t even born in America (says the “birthers”) and grew up in Hawaii, became president. And gave a wonderful speech at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
Now in Guyana, even though anyone could also be president, Satiricus had to admit that some needed a whole lotta help. Like Forbes Burnham. It took the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and so many other agencies of the American government to make him become president.
They had to even stifle their strong and virtuous consciences and create riots and suchlike. No wonder Burnham didn’t want to let go of the presidency…it would have seemed ungrateful. The least he could do was rig the elections to show his gratitude.
But now things were changing…even at the second rung of democracy in the country, it looked like people believe anyone can grow up to be mayor…even some who looks like they never even grew up.
Like this fella BenchCak. He still carrying on like he was 10 years old – throwing tantrums when he didn’t get his way. But he running for mayor. Satiricus’ heart swelled at the growth of democracy on his country.
Just like how the Americans didn’t hold the fact that Hussein’s father was born in Africa and some of his relatives might’ve been Mau Maus, no one held the fact against him that he’d once invaded the presidential compound in the company of a mob.
And that several members of the mob had been killed. In fact, our democracy was so strong that when BenchCak was imprisoned for treason…the president of the country had pardoned him! And BenchCak didn’t even have to say “beg pardon”!
In the old days, when the British were ruling, it used to be said that only mad dogs and Englishmen went into the sun without a hat. Well, Satiricus felt that BenchCak’s strongest claim to become mayor was he showed he was even braver than the Englishmen – who, he knew, ran the city quite well, you.
BenchCak goes into the sun not only without a hat…but with full suit and tie. Take that, Britishers!!!
The only problem, Satiricus feared, was the ordinary folks mightn’t see the virtues of this brave man BenchCak. They might think he’s just pagli.
December 10, 2013 By
…to be town clerk
The administration of the city of Georgetown has to be one of the most labyrinthine and bizarre in the annals of governance. Right off the bat, there’s a Mayor Hamilton Green who’s been able to hold on to power for almost 20 years…even though the city has long gone to the dogs under his watch. As can be seen whenever it rains cats and dogs – as it did for a few hours last week.
The said mayor has worked out a very simple strategy that protects him like Teflon to any criticism: just “blame the government”. One wonders why there’s any distinction between “central government” and “municipalities”.
But the man knows the psychology of the voters…since they mostly support the opposition, his passing the buck to the government falls on fertile ground. He can then maintain his peripatetic lifestyle, advising cities across the globe on moral revival. The immorality of his presiding over a city drowning in filth obviously escapes him.
The town council is cut from similar cloth…more concerned with securing their sinecures and perks rather than getting on with the business of the city. But what beats everything is the office of the town clerk.
Now this is an official who’s appointed by the Local Government Ministry…and has clearly delineated duties and responsibilities. The Lord Mayor, not surprisingly, is not comfortable with the incumbent of this position – being that he or she is from the “enemy camp” as far as he’s concerned. Carol Sooba is certainly not the first town clerk that’s earned the mayor’s ire. Remember Beulah Williams?
So we arrive at the present contretemps over who’s qualified or not to become a town clerk. After Sooba was once again selected, the City Hall Public Relations Officer (PRO) Royston King, who’s a sycophantic supporter of the Lord Mayor, is threatening to sue because he didn’t get the job. He’s not only going to sue the committee that vetted him, but he’s also going after his union. Seems they didn’t represent him vigorously enough. One wonders what the union could’ve done in a job interview.
We wonder on what grounds he’s going to sue. That he was discriminated against as a male? This would be a nice twist to the unsavoury soap opera to which City Hall has been reduced. Surely, it couldn’t be “paper qualifications”, which seem to be the big objection against Sooba.
One pretentious literary wannabe derided her “College of Preceptors” achievement. Seems that didn’t include “trigonometry and quadratics, dangling modifiers and ablative case”. Gasp!!! Without being able to deploy dangling modifiers, how the heck did she ever think she could be town clerk?
…for cricket stadium
We’re really living in a surreal world. Look at the latest development in the Bourda brouhaha. The executives of the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) said they didn’t initiate discussions with the principals of the local Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) franchise on the development of their grounds to International Cricket Council (ICC) standards.
But in the same breath they asserted the entire executive should’ve been involved. So, what is it? The executive didn’t initiate discussions? Or is it that maybe the entire executive wasn’t in the discussion? This is a horse of a whole different colour.
But what makes the whole episode even more weird is even after the local LCPL franchise owner announced he wasn’t interested in going forward – because of the politics being played by some executives…the GCC is “still considering the proposal”.
The shameful truth is they’re caught in the same web of lies they spun and now they want to extricate themselves. Do they really think they’ll drag the local LCPL rep kicking and screaming to an agreement?
The local Transparency International marched Monday against corruption. We wondered if they marched against those accountants who blackmail companies into hiring them after scandalising them in the press.
December 9, 2013 By
Mook Lall is a man, or so dem boys who seh dem is boys does tell people, who like to cuss down people. Any body who he want to bring down does get a cuss down. De Mook does cuss down from Harry Wright down to Harry Wrang. That is normal fuh someone wid a big mouth and only lil bit brains. It does sound just like how a old woman does cuss down when she get vex, especially if is another old woman mek she get vex.
Is just like how deputy mayor de old Green Case does sound when she cussin down de town clerk Carol Sober. Green Case cuss down does be a long cuss down. De more Green Case cuss down, de more garbage does leff down pun de road in GT de garbage town. Green Case neither de mayor-fuh-life Green Ham don’t cuss down bout de garbage though. When Green Ham ready, he does cuss down just like de Mook. After all, de mayor-fuh-life also got limited brains just like de Mook.
Unlike Green Case, one of dem boys who seh dem is boys seh it ain’t got any woman around to get de Mook vex. Is only man does get he so vex, especially when is a man who better than he. And it ain’t tek much fuh be better than de Mook. So is no wonder de Mook does cuss anybody, including de headitor.
One of dem reporters pun Saffon Street seh de headitor does have to run when de Mook seh walk and jump when de Mook seh run. But de headitor only waitin fuh time. He tell de reporter he know de Mook mouth gon get cold soon, and that is when all cuss down gon turn to kneel down.
Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! That gon be when de Mook go in front de judge in New York next year. So de Mook gettin excited bout Christmas, but he don’t want New Year to come!
December 9, 2013 By
The Alliance For Change (AFC) leader Khemraj Ramjattan and his colleague Member of Parliament Cathy Hughes have taken umbrage with the appointment of the acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba to the substantive post.
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) continues to take offence and has called the appointment unconstitutional and the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) has challenged the government to rescind the appointment.
The decision the interviewing panel reached pertaining to the interview of Sooba for the position of town clerk cannot stand up to the principle of fairness. One of the members of the interviewing panel was the Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene.
Chase-Greene had a vested interest in the removal of the acting town clerk. The deputy mayor was at the forefront when the council brought a no-confident motion against the acting town clerk. She was also at the forefront of the protest on Regent Street, Georgetown. Hence, the assessment of Sooba is not reflective of a fair mind. Any decision the interviewing panel has reached is null and void.
Ramjattan labelled the recent appointment of Sooba as town clerk as an act of “executive lawlessness”. Does the AFC leader address his mind to the principle of fairness when he gives his opinion? If he did not, he is definitely found to be wanting as a leader. If he did, is it not lawlessness to give an opinion that is not consistent with one’s training and academic brilliance?
Hughes appears to be invoking racism in the appointment of the town clerk and her leader Ramjattan concurs. I would give Hughes and Ramjattan the benefit of the doubt that they are not cognisant of the ethnic make up of the M&CC.
Both Hughes and Ramjattan would have a very compact calendar, given the Christmas season, or as some would label it, commercial season. But it would be refreshing if they could stop by at City Hall and see the ethnic make up for themselves.
December 9, 2013 By
The use of taxi services as a means of getting from one destination to another has grown quite popular in Guyana over the years. Additionally, many believe that car pooling is a more economic means of transportation.
However, criminals have begun to see taxis and their passengers as a new target. Car hijacking is becoming so common that it raises great concern for those who frequently utilise taxi services.
Just recently, a 22-year-old was attacked by a couple who attempted and succeeded in stealing his new car. He was sprayed in the face with pepper spray and was subsequently forced out of his vehicle. The authorities have been unable to trace the stolen car.
Ideally, taxi cabs should not allow for passengers to sit upfront with the driver. Instead, the car should permit for the driver to be physically separated from the passengers by means of some form of a glass divider. The physical barrier should be able to provide the driver with some amount of safety and the ability to monitor a hijacking situation.
Additionally, many cars these days are being made with elaborate, attractive gadgets and parts. As a driver, I think that we should make it our interest to invest in some form of remote device that is capable of shutting down and locking the vehicle in the event of it being hijacked.
I must commend patrolling officers for carrying out routine checks to ensure that drivers possess the relevant vehicle documents and also to ensure that there are no signs of criminal intent.
The presence of police on the roadways can greatly minimise the occurrence of car hijacking and other criminal activities.
December 9, 2013 By
The Rights of the Child Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently hosted a workshop with the aim of gathering the views of children and youths nationwide on the issue of inclusion.
Personally, I believe that we are taking the wrong approach in addressing our youths today. Instead of looking at it from the angle that questions why they behave the way they behave, we should instead be finding means of preventing or curbing these unwanted behavioural patterns that are trending.
Barring cases of exception, youths should be trained and brought up in a proper manner. From an early age, whether at home, in school or even at work, youths should be taught about responsibility, limits should be established, misbehaviour should be confronted with dignity, consequences should be faced for poor judgment and they should also develop a sense of remorse and show of a change of heart.
As parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to teach our children to do the right things and to acquire proper habits. They need our guidance in order to blossom into responsible adults. They need to be taught to have respect for not only others, but also themselves. Although we want them to pursue their own well-being, we also want them to be considerate of the needs and feelings of others around them.
A general observation will allow us to see that many youths are preoccupied with means of mass communication and other electronic devices. Additionally, they are manifesting disrespect for parents, employers and other adults; and they also lack accountability for school assignments, tardiness and general mannerism.
As the ones responsible for steering and guiding our youths in a right direction, we must take the steps to ensure that we provide a fixed framework for our children to be nurtured in.
December 9, 2013 By
This year’s National Drama Festival has come to an end and I must say that it was truly amazing and different. At its closure, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony opined that this year’s festival brought significant improvement with it.
I was fortunate to speak to a member of one of the winning groups and he suggested that the plays be performed at schools throughout Guyana and that it would aid in boosting drama in our school systems. Additionally, it may be a wise idea to create a compilation of our very own Guyanese playwrights and have them made available to the public.
As it relates to the publicity given to our local productions, it is imperative that we ensure that the media provides good coverage of the events. Also, I strongly believe that more promotional pieces should have be aired leading up to the date of the event.
I wish our many aspiring writers and performers all the best in their venture along the road of performing arts. We must also keep in mind that drama doesn’t necessarily have to be done along competitive lines; it can be done for fun. Either way, it will provide our writers the opportunity to express creativity.
December 9, 2013 By